I believe the Sony players at like Sams or other places have the remaining time feature as well as things like Speed Play(which allows from .6x up to 1.4x playback w/quite understandable audio). I use this when I get way behind on my timeshifting.
I've had both a regular Sony player(around $60), and a HDMI player(around $100). I returned the HDMI unit because I couldn't really see any difference in the PQ between the 2.
Be forewarned it's a little hard to find out exactly what players will have the remaining time status, I'm not even sure all Sony's have this feature. I remember trying 1/2 dozen different players several years ago to find one with just such a feature and finally found the Sony.
Note the one drawback to Sony players is if you get into RAM discs. The will NOT play them. Panasonic players do, but I'm not sure about the remaining time feature though. Good luck!
P.S. How's the VHS>DVD conversion thing going? I've read from some people that it can be quite cumbersome on the new Panny's as well as the machine might pause at scene breaks, even if you didn't want it to?
On my older ES-30 w/VHS I just play the VHS and record the DVD manually, not really using the front panel buttons, and it works fine. Never any unwanted pauses/stops from that machine. Can you do the same with the EZ-47, or do you have to use some type of dubbing button to copy?