Hi ggtygug. Since you've posted in the forum dedicated to discussions about players that play both formats (this is not a "Blu-ray vs. HD DVD" forum) you'll of course likely encounter people who think that owning players for both formats is best.
Blasst gave good advice. Keep in mind that while some studios release films in both formats, several studios only release their movies either in one format or the other- not both. If you can only buy a player for one format, be sure to research the films that you want to watch and make sure that they'll be available for the player that you decide buy.
To get started with HDM a Toshiba A-2 or A-3 makes an interesting choice as these output 1080i and 720p. They can also be found under $300! If you can wait a bit the upcoming Samsung 5000 sounds like a nice unit and it is a dual format player.
As you can see from my signature I don't have a HDM player yet and from what I am seeing I think both formats are going to be with us for a long time. I see the future as dual format/universal players and the Samsung 5000 looks like the first player that will be able to both both formats properly. Maybe wait a month or so and see how the first hand reports and reviews of the Sammie 5000 play out and go from there.
I would rather have one dual format player than dedicated HD-DVD and Blu-ray players to save space in my A/V cabinet. It is already full with an older Hi-Fi VHS, CD player, 3 head Denon cassette deck etc. In an ideal world I would find a really nice dual format/universal player that could outperform my higher end CD player.
Recent Wii owner. Enjoying HD up in the "Great White North"
You can get the HD-A2 from Amazon for $225 right now with 5 free movies.
My own personal recommendation is to wait on purchasing a BR player until they finish there format which right now is split into four profiles and all current players are using the first profile.
However if you going into it with eyes why open that you may have to replace it in the future I would say the PS3 is probably the best player for its money although some more expensive stand alone players might give you more advanced audio options