After reading the brochure I doubt I would have purchased this new Sony over the Panasonic HMC40. I only paid $140 more for my HMC40 and it came with Edius Neo 2 software, multiple HD resolutions, progressive modes and bit rates; 3 MOS, 12X zoom, 2 savable scene files; a nicer physical size - not too big, not too small, a handle, a flip up EVF etc.
Now if you compare the $1695 with the typical going rate (for the HMC40) at $1945 - that's $250 difference. I still doubt I would purchase the Sony over the HMC40 but others might....
Maybe someone can convince me to consider this Sony as a second camera?
Believe me, after all I have just purchased it will be a long, long, time before I can buy another camera.