It sounds like you may be expecting too much. Your old players did not have near the capabilities that the 103 has,
so they had less things to process and an easier time of ones and zeros getting to where they need to go in a timely fashion.
Handshaking between info screens and such before a movie is perfectly normal, and in order to not trip up the player you really shouldn't go pressing all kinds
of buttons and commands before the player has a chance to process what it's being given.
It sounds like you may be trying to trip up the player and then being successful at it when there is no need.
If a setting of "forced" works for you, then use that setting, that is what it is for.
The player offers "auto" and "forced" so that you have the choice in choosing which is best for your setup, so need need to complain about one actually working.
The studios are known for throwing in all kinds of different coding and such, especially for copy protection and those things will vary greatly from disc to disc.
So, you will see these handshakes and sometimes even hanging and freezing and that really is not always the fault of the player,
because again, the coding of the discs themselves will change from title to title and the player was not engineered for that new encoding.
(it did not exist when the player and software were released to public)
Sometimes the problems are so bad that Oppo may actually use their own time and money to try and fix problems with certain discs via a firmware update, but that is rare. Also as mentioned by the post before me, check to make sure your cables are up to snuff as sometimes that can also be an issue.
If the feature film on the disc actually plays from beginning to end without problems, then I'd consider that a win.
If you are indeed having problems during the movie feature then you may want to send Oppo support an email describing the problem.