But then I was thinking that perhaps the lens was the real problem; add on something that was f/2.8 or less - rather than the f/3.8 it comes with - and that might make a big difference.
And just after that, I happened across an article at SonyAlphaRumors about using third party lenses with the NEX-5 (which uses the same E-mount found on the NEX-VG10.) One of the lenses they high-lighted was the Zeiss Planar ZM T* 50mm f/2 which is just $781. Of course, then you need an adapter to attach the ZM-mount to the E-Mount, but those are available at Amazon ...
Wait a minute! I've already been buying lenses for the Canon 7D; am I now going to go down that route for another camera?! Worse, it's not even worth getting an NEX adapter for the Canon lenses; they don't have aperture control. Clearly, I'm stuck, unless I were to do something really silly and go and buy Nikon glass and an adapter for the Canon so I can use the lenses on both cameras....okay that is crazy talk!
The NEX-VG10 might be an okay camera - we really need to wait for more definitive reviews and user reports - but it's clear to me that if I was even to touch the thing, I'd need to spend quite a bit of money on lenses too - probably third party lenses or Alpha lenses, which is going to increase the cost even more, and also means I lose the auto controls. Which means I'm kind of back to what I have with the 7D anyway; except the NEX-VG10 is not limited to 12 minute clips.
For the moment, I think I have to stop looking at the NEX-VG10. I don't think it's going to kill my DSLR.
SonyAlphaRumors: Photozone tests new lenses on the NEX-5!
SonyAlphaNex: Sony NEX E-mount Lens Adapters on Amazon
Meanwhile, Cameratown has an "unboxing video" which is mostly description. They promise more later, and already have some in-the-field notes; "I couldn't find anyway to control audio levels." That's true; there's no manual audio control on the NEX-VG10.