I won’t go too much into this other than my beloved Canon Elura 40MC just failed with the “Remove Cassette” problem. It has all the symptoms described at: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/t19001.html
We’ve had it for five years and used it lightly. It’s old enough not to fix and new enough to ensure I’ll never buy another Canon product. What really sucks is that I actually recommended these things to several people who bought them.
What a disaster.