We drove the Camry hybrid when we were looking for my wife's last car, so it was around the middle of 2008. My apologies for inaccurately representing the drive train. The sales person had said that it's the same system Toyota uses in the Prius which I had interpreted as "identical".
Sounds like the 2012 is a lot nicer car to drive. Presumably the one I drove was a 2008 and "completely numb" is the best way I can describe it. The A/C was terrible, surprisingly so. It blew cool-ish air, but not cold, and not enough to keep the cabin as cool as it should have been. If I'm not mistaken, it's all electric as opposed to engine belt-driven, correct? If so, then yes it should have been ice cold regardless of engine speed.
It also could have been that particular Camry. Like I said, I've never been in a Prius, so I can't comment on A/C in them, but I would presume it's similar to the Camry system (and could be wrong). I know several Prius owners (some multiple owners) and they love them. I presume the A/C works well enough for them!
The real shocker was the price. It was around $34,000 and since it was a hybrid and they were in high demand, there was zero wiggle room on that price. Needless to say, we got a different car.