No one went (or was even close to) to jail for importing a DVDR in Canaduh.
But it would make our lives easier if it was readily available. I turned out to work in my favour when I wanted to try out the unit back in January, since I had to drive 3 hours round trip anyway, I ended up buying 2 Mags right away instead of making the trip twice, and only about a month later, the shortages/price increases started.
I've been happy with it. And like all other Canadians who use them, been getting the ATSC and even NTSC signals just fine.
I declared the unit at the border, explaining exactly what it was for, and all they cared about was to charge the taxes (including tax on the US tax).
Even if they were available North of the border, retailers, even Wal-Mart, would probably charge about 100-150$ more per unit than the US prices.
The joke has lasted long enough, even the Federal government, after warning the retailers for years and seeing no improvement, decided to act : they will raise the tax-free allowance for 24 hours trip from 50 to 200$ and the 48+ hours trip from 200 to 800$ later on this year.
So, even our government is telling the citizens : your local retailers are ripping you off, go shop in the US. Of course, not everyone lives close enough to the border to do so, but most major cities are (Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver).
Added bonus : fill up the gas tank while you're there! (4$ a gallon vs 6$+ in Canaduh)