Also in my experience the best quality you can get is to buy a MINI DV camcorder that has firewire, most have an input function where you can input video through the camcorder to firewire. I have a JVC GRD90u and it has this functionality. USB based capture devices seem to be flaky in my experience.
I am working on a similar project with old VHS movie, if you can pick up a SVHS deck, that will help. Anything prosumer is good too. I just picked up 2 Panasonic AG1980P and that is supposed to be one of the better decks for such a purpose. I found them on goodwill's website! Hopefully they work. These have TBCs (time based correctors) which are supposed to correct issues with the picture due to damaged or old tapes, etc.
tetatdo (1924764) writes "Ive been looking for a decent laptop to replace both my desktop and notebook that has a built in port replicator. Something like the Dell E-series but with a decent GPU. It seems that these two items in a laptop are mutually exclusive. All the laptops with docking stations I have found so far are business class machines with weak GPUs or on board video. Can the fine readers of Slashdot recommend a good notebook with a 14" screen that has a real (not USB) based docking station and a decent GPU?"