Their are two strategies I have used I fully endorse both:
Strategy 1: Go swing every driver from every major company. Then go swing used models from past years from every major company. Pick out 2-3 you like then go read up on them. Did they get good reviews? Did people who actually used them write the reviews? then find the best deal on the one you want and buy it!
Strategy 2: Go buy the highest rated driver that you can for the least amount of money possible and figure out the rest when it gets here. If its a halfway decent club you can probably make it work and probably spend 20% of what you might on something new.
Ive done both, strat 1 is alot more fun though :D
Few bits of advice: The golf Digest Hot List is pile of crap. Yes the things on it are probably good but they never award it to companies who don't advertise with them. Just because a club is used or from 2009 doesn't mean you wont swing it as good or better then a new club or one from 2011. And last but not least... don't believe the hype just because Phil Mickleson can hit this new driver 4 yards longer then his old one doesn't mean your gonna start swinging like Phil Mickleson.