It sounds like your camera needs a service if it is reoccurring so regularly.
You may even consider purchasing a new camera, as a service may become costly, making this a more viable option.
I know I will be buying a new one rather than having ours repaired if it came to that!
You can purchase miniDV decks, but they are VERY expensive.
I don't really understand why a VHS or DVD-like deck has not been released for mini-DV since it is so popular.
I'm sure many people would purchase one of these if they were at a similar price point, rather than having to run it via the camcorder.
Then again, I may have just answered my own comment, being that you can run them via your camcorder so why would people bother buying a mini-DV deck (unless you want to edit with it). It's all about making money!