Here's the thing. How much you need to spend depends on what you're using it for. If you're just going out and taping with your buddies, and not going to make any professional-looking edits, then just to to the mall, and spend a few hundred bucks on one. The biggest difference between a $300 camera and a $600 camera is the 3 extra bills it's going to cost you. the picture quality might be better, but for those purposes, anything will do.
Now, if you're serious or even semi-serious about being a videographer, then you dont want a camera that doesn't have 3CCD's. The Panasonic PV-GS70 is one of the cheapest 3CCD cameras out there, and run about $900-$1000. It's got pretty good quality, and is a solid camera overall. however, I have to reccomend getting a Canon GL, or a Sony VX1000. they're a little more expensive, but for the money, they have amazing quality.
I have a Canon GL2. i have made music videos, experimental stuff, narratives, and the almighty skiing edits with this camera, and the quality is great. It's pretty user friendly. Other people swear by their Sony VX cameras. Bottom line; shop around, ask a lot of questions and try to learn as much as you an about what each camera you're considering will be able to do for you.
**For sale; Large Hi-Fi Audio. PM me if Interested**