Well from my own experiences with a JVC everio Hard Disk Drive camcorder, i had to deal with weird formats that adobe premiere pro couldn't read, and through all my efforts to make it compatible with compression and what not, the footage was always sub par quality.
Thats not to say all Hard Disk Drive cameras should be avoided, but this particular one sounds similar to the one I had, and from reading up on a few reviews it sounds like this camera can hold a lot of footage, but the video quality, low light shooting, and poor battery take away from it a lot.
JVC format Works with I-movie and Final Cut pro. I have this camcorder and it's okay. Easy to use - the zoom is amazing, quality is okay...not amazing though. It's good enough for a beginner. I really want a better one now though.
One thing is low light - it's absolutely useless in anything less than daylight. Another thing, when skiing, the steady cam setting does fuck all and the wind noise reducer might as well be an amplifier for all I care. I taped some foam to the front of mine but still, pretty whack.
Slow a shot down to 40% of the speed and you notice blurring because the frame rate isn't fast enough. I had no problems with the hard disk function though and I found it quite handy as tapes are a pain in the arse to be perfectly honest.