I haven't bought a video camera in a very long time. The main reason for this is that I believe that every camera on the market is either too expensive or has too many drawbacks. However, two weeks ago I bought a Canon 550d which is the first camera that meets my price-perfomance requirements. I was close to buying a Canon 7D a few months ago but decided not to. The camera's shortcomings (line-skipping sensor, h.264 codec) didn't justify the price to me. Shortly after I decided not to get the 7D, Canon announced the 550d (known as the Rebel T2i in the US) which made me incredibly glad I didn't make that purchase. The video functionality on the 550d is virtually identical to that of the 7D. The only notable differences are the lack of 1/3rd stop ISO settings, white balance fine-tuning in Kelvin, and HD external video output while recoding. The other differences between the cameras are purely build quality and photo shooting speed -- neither which I care about too much. The other big difference: the 550d costs half as much as the 7D.
I haven't had the chance to use the camera on any legitimate projects yet, however I have made some very unscientific tests:
Download High-Bitrate 1080p h.264(307MB)
The main purpose of these tests was to investigate overall image quality and to see how the camera looked with varying depth of field. The lighting is clearly not constant at all (I had no real cinema lights handy in my apartment at 1am), but Spock's face should be consistently exposed throughout. All of the tests were shot using a Canon 50mm f1.8, some of the other random footage was shot using a Manual Nikon 24mm f2 or the Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS. I recorded at 1080p 25.
I think the camera performs quite well. The noise (even at ISO 1600). though noticeable, isn't really distracting. One problem I noticed and was expecting is in the last test clip where I rack focus. There is some shimmery aliasing on the card in the background. This must be an artifact of the line-skipping sensor.