The FlipEli 8.6s big Christmas present was a Flip video recorder, the Mino HD. $199, and you can shoot 60 minutes of 720P video.
It's incredibly simple to use. Push the red button on the front and it starts recording. Push it again to stop. It's not an ideal tool if you want to get all auteur and shit, but for quick-and-dirty recording, it's just fantastic, and video in 720P looks terrific.
There's a built-in USB port (which is hidden until you slide a switch), so transferring the video to your PC is very easy.
I'm reminded of TIVO when I use this, because it's absolutely the TIVO of video camcorders--it's almost totally intuitive.
The funny thing is that I'm using it far more often than Eli is, at least for now.