I bought one of these last year to fill a specific need, and I couldn't be happier.
In an attempt to do multi-camera product review videos on a budget, I wanted an extra camcorder to handle a close-up angle of the product table, but I couldn't afford to spend much on it. The zoom lens of this camcorder sounded very appealing, and it has worked out perfectly to suit my needs.
You can see an example of its use in this video here -
it is the one used for the front facing close up shots like the ones found at the :53 second mark, the 1:46 mark, etc. Keep in mind that this was a green-screen composite, and even with such a cheap camcorder, I was able to achieve enough dynamic range to pull a decent key.
You can also see it in the opening introduction shot of this video:
and it did a decent job for what I needed, but that one may not be the best representation because it was down-rezzed for post before uploading.
But there are a couple of caveats to be mindful of with this model.
1.) Solid imaging balance is typically achieved as a collaboration of the lens system and the sensor. The lens in this model is incredible, especially for the price. But the sensor is pretty lousy, so it may not produce great results in some scenarios, including low-light conditions, etc. I would equate this sensor to be roughly equivalent to a really good quality webcam, but as it is a low-priced budget camcorder, I think the lousy quality of the sensor is a heavy factor for it being so low priced. I get good results from it because I use it in well lit controlled shooting environments.
2.) The interface is a bit klunky. I use complex camcorders for my professional work, but I also have several cheap pocket camcorders for playing around with, such as models by Panasonic, Kodak, and Flip. I see these budget models as being intended largely for a technophobic or convenience crowd that just wants a quick and simple approach to catching a shot. Just a couple of buttons and a simple interface is beneficial here, but this Everio model is not as simple and comfortable to use as other devices in its class. You can figure it out quickly enough, but the interface just doesn't seem very intuitive.
3.) Although the description says the footage can be uprezzed to 1080p, it actually shoots in 720p, which is perfectly fine for my needs, and probably most other folks too, especially since you're shopping for a camcorder in this price range. If you're shopping for a 1080p device with stunning crystal clear optics, you're going to spend a lot more than what this Everio is going for.
4.) The codec is AVCHD Lite. This is a newer formulation of consumer level HD codecs, and while I won't get into the geeky specs about it, I'll just say that it can be a pain to work with in some cases. Your editing application of choice may need to be updated to handle this codec as it is not compatible with all applications and platforms. Several Windows-based apps may handle it fine, (and it comes with a Windows based application...for what it's worth) but Mac users may need to jump through a few hoops to successfully import this footage. (It can be done, I do it regularly). In some cases, where importing from the SD card through a card reader doesn't work, you might find success importing via USB directly from the camcorder. (Don't ask - it's complicated.) And I'm not sure about it's compatibility with tablet-based video editing apps.
5. The battery life for this thing is unquestionably the worst I've ever seen. Stock up on those batteries because you're gonna need 'em if you plan to be out and about for a bit of shooting.
That all being said, If you can work with the AVCHD Lite codec, I think this thing is a steal at this price. The form factor is light and comfortable enough, I like having the built-in lens cover. (very handy), HDMI and component output options are cool, and in my opinion, a decent 40x zoom lens at this price point is pretty much incomparable.
I hope that info is helpful for your decision making.