Hope this gets to you before Christmas...
I have the exact same thing happen and found this sight scurrying for a solution. I've tried just about everything mentioned in the manual(like you) and did a few more things. I did not have the 'tear-drop' symbol, only the eject indicator and C:32:22 on it. yesterday:
1. I hit the reset button. It's on control panel that's hidden when the LCD screen is closed.
2. I've removed the battery and put it back on again(this was the only way I could remove my tape).
3. I left it powered up all day and let the battery go to zero. I kept the tape out of it.
4. Prayed that everything would be okay as I cannot afford another camcorder right now.
This morning, I powered it back up(without charging it, as there is a little juice left) and reinstalled the tape. It played! No symbols, sounds or anything. I haven't recorded anything on it yet as I'm recharging the battery right now. I'll get back to this sight later today(12/24/05) with my results on recording. I hope this can help everyone that's having the same problem...