Diesel is roughly about the cost of premium (93 octane). I really don't think there's a hybrid that can go 600+ highway miles/tank like a diesel. My diesels I dont have to try to get good gas mileage, i don't have to hyper-mile and do tricks to get good gas mileage, they just do.
My 09 tdi cost me $22k brand new and was worth $22k when i got rid of it at 30k miles 1yr later. Im pretty certain diesels hold their value stronger than any comparable hybrid.
Obviously I am heavily biased towards diesels, but I'm speaking the truth. I love the sound, i love the power delivery, the diesels (european cars) feel way more buttoned down and composed on the highway, and I'm pretty sure they're faster than a comparable hybrid. Maintenance may be a little more $$ as you have to replace fuel filters more often, oil changes are about every 10k miles, not sure about hybrids. I havent done the math to compare if owning the diesels are more expensive, and I really don't care, I'd still drive them even if it were. Hybrids are appliances. If your a driver and like driving, you'll much prefer the diesels. The driving experience is way more satisfying. You should drive both and compare for yourself. Toyota's in general isolate the driver from the road, and can feel floaty and disconnected. You don't want to throw a prius/camry into a corner. IF i had to pick hybrid, id probably go for a fusion hybrid, they're the sportiest. Hybrids use all sorts of tricks like low rolling resistance tires (hard rubber) which reduce their road holding abilities. My jetta tdi will turn, stop, accelerate and get better mileage on the highway than any comparible prius, insight, or civic hybrid, and even the fancy lexus CT which is actually SLOWER than a prius. On top of that, the jetta is way more comfortable as its a larger car. Maybe someone should make a diesel hybrid for the US.
Despite battery life, I'm also not sure how long an electric motor is supposed to last. My 1990 mercedes has original engine and transmission with 250k miles. I recently blew the turbo, and considering that it's been down the dragstrip a couple of times i can't complain. With a new turbo on, the motor will continue to go another 250k miles easy. I'm kinda expecting the tranny to give up soon, but so far its also rock solid, even with the track passes.
Hybrids and diesels have their own advantages. Hybrids are for ppl that run errands around the city, in stop and go traffic. Diesels are for ppl who do lots of highway driving. Its important to keep current with maintenance for a trouble free ownership experience. The service intervals are far apart so its not like you're always in the shop for maintenance. European cars tend to not be as reliable as asians, so I'd recommend getting the longest possible warranty.
Diesel pumps also tend to be a bit messy, so I keep a box of disposable gloves in the trunk. I kinda dig lining up at the same pumps as the big rigs, sometimes people even come up and ask questions about the car. Some of those pumps have bigger nozzles that don't fit in the smaller passenger car filler neck though (for faster filling), but u can still make it work. Also, unlike a gas car, I fill the diesels all the way up until i see fuel at the top of the filler neck for extra mileage, and that causes no problems. A gas car will throw a check engine light.
The diesel experience is totally worthit to me. Its more than just dollars and cents, its enjoyment.