Capture Device Advice

I did a forum search but to no avail and of course, this may not be the best forum for this to be asked but I do so anyhow knowing there are some enlightened souls here who could likely offer me advice.
I'm having trouble keeping my camcorders (Canon ZR Series) up and running in regards to capturing. They work great otherwise, for what we are using them for, but the firewire ports are constantly shorting on us. The repairs are becoming too costly to keep up with as we're having to spend more than the camera is even worth to try and get them working again.
I know there are other options to use for connectivity which would allow us to bypass the firewire connection altogether. Granteed, I'd lose the digital quality but at this point efficiency reigns supreme over quality. I'm looking for recommendations on a couple of things:
1) I've found plenty of easy fixes, such as the Diamond Capture Device and a few other "one touch" solutions that exist. The problem I've had with Diamond (actually ordered some and then returned them) is that the video being captured was in a much smaller resolution and the image literally had to be stretched to take up the entire screen. Is this normal? Is there a way to capture in analog but not lose extra resolution/generation in doing so? I felt like I was losing twice as much quality as I should have been by stretching the video out.
2) How much am I losing in visual quality by using an component or S-video?
I need a cost-effective solution until I can order new camcorders which wont be until next fall.
Thanks for reading!

>PP ONLY allows for firewire capture
Under Windows, PPro also support
RS-232 and RS-422 serial devices.
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