Well just to give everyone an update, I eventually decided on a camcorder, specifically between the V720 and the PJ380. I was debating on stepping up to the Sony PJ430V for the anti-shake feature that moves the entire lense block to keep the picture steady and the 5.1 surround sound, but couldn't justify the double the price (~$700-$800). Ended up with the PJ380 at Adorama for $450 with a free $50 gift card which I figure I'll need for a battery, case, tripod, or something similar... effective price at $400 which I thought was a great deal considering the CX (non-projector) versions were more expensive on other sites.
Ultimately it came down to simplicty in shooting amateur video, home video, sports, moving objects/scenes, etc. Something that I didn't need to mess with manual settings for, but had some options to play it that realm after I start to get comfortable with the camera. One of the biggest selling points was the size of the camcorder being so small, had it been the size of the camcorders in its previous generations (early and mid-2000s) I may have opted for a photo camera that could double into taking solid video.