First of all a big heartfelt thanks to everyone who posted comments both here and on Twitter when I asked for assistance in choosing a digital camcorder.
Earlier today it arrived:
I played around with it a bit once the battery had charged and it seems pretty easy to use. Obviously it's got loads of fancy options that I don't fully understand yet, though if I spent some time with the user manual it might help!
The display is nice and clear and the touchscreen commands seem easy to manage.
I'll hopefully get a chance to play with it properly over the next few days and will be able to take it to Rome next week ...