The picture quality makes it worthwhile.......and yes, I have tried 2 of the digital boxes, AND 2 of the HDTV boxes, with all new cables.
To switch back to normal digital for non-HD, my remote has macro's that do it kinda automatically, so NO, it is not too much trouble. Just requires a switch of audio and video inputs.
You can do the digital cable through the HDTV tuner, but I found those pictures actually not as sharp.......and as I stated above, then I am locked into a format that gives me 4:3 with black sidebars on both sides on all NON-HD station. The above hookup allows me to change the aspect ratio as I choose, and if I do want 4:3, my tv does grey sidebars, which reportedly may have less screen burn in (as some have told me).
And yes, besides the glitches, I think the picture quality makes it worth the trouble.....just do wish there were more HD channels, and more things HD on the existing channels.