Summary: Hard to tell this was refurbished, as aside from the lack of packaging, it certainly appears brand new in all respects. Pretty simple to use. Battery life is less than I expected, but not a show stopper. I recommend getting the FireWire elements as otherwise, you are stuck with the tapes versus DVD or PC capture. It does come with the needed cables to connect to a TV or VCR. For the $ I think this was a fine deal.
Summary: So far this is working great! I was worried about the refurbished model at first, but it takes great video and doesn't seem to be damaged in any way. The only thing to beware of, is that for some reason there was an additional label on the outside of the box that read "JVC Camcorder". So, if you're buying this as a gift for someone in your household, you need to get to it before it they get the mail and find out!