I tried to stay away from
"technical jargon". Apologies if I was not successful.
Reading that CNET review... The use of low resolution sensors and interpolation to call the video "HD" is common across vendors in the low-end. Says so in the article. Fringing is sort of described in the article - it is the purplish color one can distinguish in the digitally zoomed in photo of the squirrel - it is that sort of "halo" around the squirrel's hairs on its back. This is common to most camcorders - more-so in consumer grade. You only really see it when the image is made really large - which you would normally not do.
Personally, I use a Sony HDR-HC1 and HDR-FX1. I don't like the AVCHD compression most of the current crop of consumer camcorders use. Plus the lenses and imaging chips are too small. I have used my son's Canon HF S100. Under nice, bright lighting - sunlight - out doors with all three cameras white-balanced and not recording fast action, one would be hardpressed to tell which camera captured which video (I used all three on a shoot). But when the lighting turns down or when the action starts, it is relatively easy to pick out the one with the small lens or the one with the high compression video.
Personally, I think all the manufacturers' camcorders all provide about the same quality given a specific price point in their line. They are competitors.
The CNET article to which you refer also says, "If you're going to buy one, get the cheapest; nothing on any of these is really worth the extra bucks." Assuming we trust this review, then the CX190 is it from Sony
I have not used any of the Canons listed. I like the HF M series because there is manual audio control that is more granular than in the HF R series. Comparing the entry level CX190 to a mid-range HF M56 is a bit unfair... a bit like comparing a Toyota Corolla to a Cadillac ATS. Both well built, but in different classes. Given a choice, I'd take the HF M56 or the the possible equivalent on the Sony side of the HDR-CX760 (not on your list).