You can get a great camcorder that will fit your needs for your $800 budget. Many of the smaller 1 CCD MiniDV camcorders fall into that price range.
I wouldn't be surprised if you could find the TRV-900 now, perhaps used but in good condition, for that price, if you wanted it. You probably don't, though. It's hardly "pocket-sized"!
Like Carvmeister, I've used the TRV-900 for several years. It's a great machine. If you've seen any of the photos and sequences I've posted, you've seen pictures from it. Unlike CM, I ski with mine on a strap around my neck. It's small enough to carry that way, but you'll definitely know it's there. It's also very tough! You're more likely to injure yourself than the camera by falling on it (I nearly broke a rib last winter). And I have video of myself and the camera being taken out hard by a slalom racer skidding out of the course.... It's never skipped a beat! I put a polarizing filter on mine for skiing, rather than a neutral density filter. It serves the same purpose, and can reduce glare and make the blue sky more intense and colors appear richer as well. If you shoot in the high shutter speed "sports" mode, which gives the clearest still image, you won't need more than the built-in ND filter to manage the bright light. But a filter of some sort--polarizer, ND, or clear UV/Skylight will protect the lens. I never carry the camera without some sort of filter on it.
Two other hints if you end up with the TRV-900 or similar. Remove the rectangular lens hood it comes with, and replace it with an inexpensive collapsable rubber lens hood, available at any decent camera shop. (The TRV-900 uses a 52mm filter, hood, and lens cap, the same as many Nikon camera lenses, so accessories are easy to find.) It will take less room, and more importantly, it will allow you to use rotating filters like polarizers. (There is a small risk of slight "vignetting" with some round hoods, where you can see the hood on the corners of the image when zoomed to wide angle. You can solve this problem either with a "wide-angle" lens hood, or a larger--55mm--hood and a "stepping ring" adaptor--my preference.) Second, on cold or snowy days, get a standard fleece neck gaitor with a draw cord and cord lock on one end (available at Walmart), and cinch the draw cord end around the lens, just behind the hood. The gaitor will protect the camera from snow, give it a little protection from sudden temperature changes (and the condensation that results), and provide a little protection for your hand as well. It's cheap, light, and takes up very little space, unlike some of the commercial alternatives.
Anyway, you'll probably prefer one of the more compact and less expensive digital camcorders. Some are literally pocket-sized. They all take very good video. To edit on your computer, make sure the camcorder has a "Firewire" port (IEEE 1394, or "I-link" on Sony). You'll also need a Firewire port on the computer, of course. If your computer doesn't have one, it's an easy addition to a desktop computer, and a simple card to slide into a laptop. And you'll want a large, fast hard disk, the bigger and faster the better (1 gigabyte holds about 5 minutes of digital video). There are many software options for editing video now, ranging from basic and user-friendly to full-featured and sophisticated (eg. Adobe Premiere). With a little practice (and a fast enough computer), you'll be surprised how easy it is to create edited video with sound tracks, titles, and special effects.
Good luck with your search!
[ November 30, 2002, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]