What I do...
Connect the camcorder's DV port to the computer's firewire port with a firewire cable.
If the computer is not on, turn it on.
When at a stable desktop, turn on the camcorder - put it into Play/Edit mode.
Launch the HDV-capable video editor.
Import or capture the video from the camcorder.
There is no single "best file" for all viewing.
Export to high quality computer readable file. It is assumed the video is high definition since that is what it imported as. This will be used to burn a BluRay disc - assuming you have a BluRay burner attached to the computer. I like those from LaCie.
Use this same file to make a standard definition DVD by using a DVD authoring application. iDVD for Macintosh or WinDVD for Windows.
Save the file to a media server or Network Attached Storage RAID 1 disc array for later viewing on the network connected TV.
Use this same file in a "converter" to make it an MP4 suitable for a personal media player.
Export a "medium" quality file for uploading to a media sharing site (like YouTube or Vimeo).
Then I export the project back to the camcorder for digital tape archive and store it in a cool dry place.