I've owned an XH-A1 for a few months now and I like it alot. I'm currently using it to film a music video for my band. I haven't uploaded any of the footage to my computer yet, so I'm not sure how its gonna turn out. Hopefully it'll look good. I made the decision to get this camera after reading a lot of different reviews, and seeing the videos that wagenwerks.net put out. They're a Volkswagen enthusiest site and they film all their stuff with the XH-A1 and it looks AMAZING. Take a look: http://www.wagenwerks.net/video/videoindex.html
Also, I've read that the movie Crank 2 was filmed entirely with the Canon XH-A1. I haven't seen it yet, but I've got it on the Netflix queue. I've heard the movie wasn't that great, but I don't really care I just want to see how well they did with the XH-A1.
Just don't expose it to heat, or use it in warm environments. Mine overheated constantly after 2-3 hour filming sessions, and required icepacks to cool it down. The heat it generated would end up adding terrible amounts of noise to the image.
It's a great low-cost solution for HD in the field. With the tapeless workflows of most HD cameras a laptop and redundant backups are a must, which end up increasing the price of the operational package. Because the A1 shoots on MiniDV tapes, you've got hard copies of all your work which is great.
However, I would recommend the EX-1 any day over the XH-A1 if you've got the funds and can afford to offload footage.
I looked at the XH-A1, but after talking to a few people, decided to go for the Panny HMC-150... slightly more $ (not much), but much better overall, IMHO. Don't take my word for it, however, do a comparison.
There are definitely "better" options available. I quoted better because it's an opinion of course...though it's an opinion shared by many
I've been a long time Canon fan, but the XH is getting a bit long in the tooth. In fact, all tape based HD recording is on it's way out the door. Tapeless is the way to go...the Panasonics offer a couple of great choices...check out the HMC-150 as mentioned or the HMC-40...or an HVX200 from the used market...they're going for a song right now. The HPX170 or HVX200a are the newer ($5k) models...the EX-1 as mentioned earlier has been updated, you might be able to find a deal on a used original. All of these options are tapeless. JVC also has a new 1/4" camera on the market at around 3k. Then there are the V-DSLR's...Canon 5d2/7d/1d4...Nikon D300s, D90, Panasonic GH1 are the front runners as of now.
Again, as also mentioned...the Canon is a decent camera, albeit a bit on the dated side...not so much the hardware of the camera but your software choices to record to. Tape is just too time consuming these days, IMHO!