I'd look at either the Canon HV40
for HDV tape based recording or the Canon HF11
for flash memory recording. They are both above your price range, but anything below is generally pretty crappy (ie all the Flip, Kodak, and portable cameras). You can get in the sub $300 range easily, but you are only looking at standard defintion video, which nowadays is lame being YouTube supports 1080p now. The HV40 (HV20/30/40) has a huge community
around it, and so do the flash based Canons. So if you want to know how to use them to their full extent, you have a wealth of information available. Either camera can shoot stunning video with a decent amount of manual control. As Chez said, it all depends on what you want to do with your camera.
Insert clever text/image here.