I am getting the Toshiba RD-XS35 - it should arrive tomorrow, actually. It will essentially replace my current VHS VCR.
The decision to purchase a DVR was influenced by desiring more features then the cable company provided via their current (rental) offerings - including the SIGNIFICANT feature (for me) of reading/editing/writing DVDs within the same unit. Also, I can upgrade components in my DVDR+DVR with impunity.
My cable company still broadcasts most channels in analog, with the rest (i.e., digital and/or pay-per-view) requiring that we rent a single cable box with registered card. Most of the shows we record on the VCR today (DVR tomorrow) can simply be tuned in via the analog tuner of that recording component, which is fed by a splitter in the cable company's coax line. For those shows which are digital and/or pay-per-view, we manually change to that channel in the box and send the output directly from the cable box to the Line input of our VCR.
I am waiting on an A/V receiver to arrive in the coming weeks/months (delayed to due shipping damage), after which I'll probably keep a similar setup with the DVR . . . except that at least one set of cable signals will route through the receiver to the recorder, and then I'd like to determine if an IR Blaster can control the cable box for recording shows which must route in that fashion.