I do not yet have a Blu-Ray player, still using a standard dvd player.
I am a little confused as to which calibration dvd to get. ... i have heard bad stuff about the Digital Video Essentials one, it being confusing.
If you plan on going to Blu-ray you should just use the THX patterns on a THX mastered DVD until you get a Blu-ray and then get the HD DVE (Blu) or the Spears & Munsil disc. If you're sticking with DVD then use the SD DVE. Do not try to use GetGray unless you have no trouble reading and understanding the manual.
What you've heard about DVE is (or should be) with regard to navigation when doing pro calibration. It's not relevant when you're making adjustents by eye.
How important is it to use the glasses/filters. If I get a THX disc from netflix, it obviously won't have them.
In this specific case I'd suggest you review settings posted in the relevant thread and adjust color/tint per consensus. The most important thing you can do at this point is adjust brightness/constrast for your viewing environment(s). The Spears & Munsil articles take some pain to explain the issues and don't require their disc (although I'd recommend it) to be helpful.