It really involves a lot of research. I am a Canon fanboy, and thus I love their products. I won't deny Panasonic's contributions though, as they have some excellent products. I would suggest maybe browsing the cameras within your budget, and reading user reviews from B&H, or another reputable site so you can see what experiences people had in a variety of settings. The XA10's are a good in-between from Canon's professional models, and the Vixia series of camcorders. They are compact, have a lot of manual control, and they have XLR audio inputs (with phantom power) if you wanted to run audio directly to the camera, rather than syncing external audio in post. If you are recording video solo and want to do video with more than one angle, you are going to need a camcorder for a static shot. DSLR cameras will give you a limited amount of run time, and that can be very dependent upon what it is recording. They can be excellent tools because of the variety of lenses you can use, and work great for handheld shots. The image sensor on a camcorder can make a huge difference in video quality as well. Smaller sensors accept less light, degrading your image. The XA10's have Canon's CMOS sensors in them, fair ok in low light situations. If you have two of them, you should have the ability to make some really good videos. I would recommend getting comfortable and familiar with the manual controls of them, and perhaps look at some tutorials about them online. Those manual controls can really make a great deal of difference in your video. The cameras retail for about $1200 new. If you got them for free, I'm jealous!
As for stands, I like Manfrotto. They are sturdy and durable, and you can swap out the heads on them for ones that are better suited for pan/zoom, or just a straight on static shot. I'd avoid the cheap ones you can get at Walmart, Target, or Best Buy. I think one camera shooting a straight ahead shot, and another that is handheld will work just fine.
I hope some of that helps. I'm by no means a professional, but maybe some of that will get you going.