I installed my drive this evening. The install of the drive went without issue, XP immediately picked it up. And the install of the oem PowerDVD also went without a hitch. I just went ahead and did the update of both the firmware for the drive and the free upgrade for the software. I only have one BD title, Happy Feet, and it played perfectly. I will get a HD title tomorrow. I'm running a c2d e6750 at 8 X 450, 8800gt OC with aftermarket cooler. While running the dvd this evening, my 8800gt temps never exceeded 42C, cpu core temps were lower 30s, and cpu utilization averaged about 10%. There were absolutely no burps, lags, anything during the movie. PowerDVD ran just fine, very easy and intuitive software. Other than the autofirmware update, I only installed PowerDVD, none of the other programs that came on the disk.
Now I'm just running 2-channel sound , as it's all we've got for sound right now. I'm running my system on a 47" LG LB5D HDTV with sound from my computer outputted via an analog cable to the HDTV which then connects to an old Sony receiver and speakers. A more sophisticated sound system will be my next purchase. Is audio where the problems arise with this software, i.e., more sophisticated 5.1/7.1/optical out/dolby whatever (the audio end of all this is still a bit of a mystery to me)? Because so far, I have no gripes whatsoever. Thanks.