A few years ago, I bought this Sony DCRTRV33 camcorder to upgrade from 8mm tapes. That was a significant upgrade in quality, let me tell you. I really like the idea of it being digitally stored and in my opinion, more reliable than standard analog tapes.
A year ago, we got a new TV which was widescreen and the camera adapted well because though a standard DV tape can only record at 640x480 pixels, when you switch the camera to 16x9 mode, it records those pixels so they show up right (called anamorphic) on a 16x9 TV. That was a huge benefit for all the new footage I shot.
I also like the ability to connect the camcorder to either my computer or my DVD recorder using just a Firewire cable. I can then record all my videos to DVD or edit them on the computer with no loss of quality. Though I've found DV tapes to be much more reliable than 8mm tapes, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND people put their videos onto DVD (or multiple DVDs) for long term storage.
My biggest complaint about this camera is the narrowness of the field of view on the camera. That means that if you want to fit in 5 people across, you have to be a long ways away in the room, just to fit them in. To counter that, a year ago, I bought a wide angle adapter lens to screw onto the camera. That has worked well and allows me to get closer and get more people or scenery in without having to be far away.
Though I've only used it a few times, the infrared mode can be useful for taping sujects in complete darkness. An example is when I taped my kids at Disneyland at night getting ready for the fireworks.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with this camera and it's been reliable for me. I'd pretty highly recommend it.