Summary: My 1st camcorder: PV-L857. After 2 years of very light use the lens started making loud clicking noise when zoomed. My 2nd camcorder: PV-GS150. After 1.5 years of light use the camcorder started to lose focus in auto mode (with clean lens). It will focus initially, but then blur within a minute, and I have to move or zoom a little to regain focus. Low light performance is noticeably worse than my sister's old sony dcr-trv8.
Summary: Great camera, but you cannot use the image stabilization feature in the wide screen mode. The GS250 allows you to do so, but is a significant jump in price. If you are doing video editing or watching the videos on a wide screen TV, think seriously about getting this camera. Colors are wonderful, far better than any other camera on the market at this price range. Personally, we are going with the GS250 because of the Image stabilization.