What I want in a camcorder is the best possible picture with the lowest price. I don't care about the recording format/media (hard drive, tape, flash), what connections it has or doesn't have, or any extra features or software. It just needs to be able to transfer a 1:1 ratio to the computer, be as cheap as possible, and have a great picture.
It will be mounted on a tripod for most things, so even image stabilization isn't a priority.
For example, if a $500 hard drive camcorder has the same picture quality as a $200 tape drive, I would want the tape drive. If a camcorder with a 640x480 resolution captures the same level of quality as a camcorder with a 1280x720 resolution then I would same as above. Quality being a sharp, clear picture with good color reproduction. Any help would be much appreciated.