I have had this machine ages now, and I still use it all the time. I'm not sure if it is still on general sale, but it would make an ideal second hand bargain.
There are a variety of settings on offer, with the highest being HQ, the quality of which must be between dvd and blu-reay, (probbaly 720p 1080i). So this machine can still be used with todays HD televisions.
I have oftern used it for easy video editing, just transfer everything to the harddisk and cut out the bits you don't like, then transfer it dvd. The results are fantastic and it is so easy to do.
As with any Sony product build quality is exceptional, I have had no problems at all with this machine.
The one downside to this machine now is the lack of any hdmi ports, which may hold performance back a little. I have some high quality component inputs though, and these really do make picture and sound more involving.
I guess that in a few years I will replace this machine with a blu-ray recordable one. When I do it will certainly be a Sony. Until then I will be very happy to use this one.