Sorry if i forgot to thank you dwight, but i did receive the email. It was helpful at that time, but I was unable to make up my mind so I ended up with nothing but, hopefully, used the money on something else important at the time. It occurred to me a couple of days ago to just visit the local circuit city and talk to one of electronics salemen on pros and cons of various formats and their capabilities within the parameters of my objective. I don't want to buy a cadillac if it's not necessary to tape and upload video lessons (i'd like to end up with something along the lines of how Big Nick's instructional segments look like).
Since your end result need not be super-fine quality video, you can probably pick up a Hi-8 digital camera for under $300.
I think Windows Movie Maker (comes standard with XP I think) will allow you to import form a video cam.
I don't know how much total editing ability it has though. I haven't used it.
You could also get one of the dvd cams, but they're expensive right now, and you will still likely want some editing capability. I think you can edit in camera with them, but you'll likely want finer editing capability than that.
I just sold an older version of my video editing software to someone on this board. It was a good deal, but don't know how they are making out with it.
I looked at Windows Movie Maker last night. I will allow some editing. I even has a half-speed filter. However, sound is an octave lower. With the Vegas Video, you can monkey with the sound and keep it at the same octave.
VV is a slicker and more capable editing environment.