Engadget basically trashed the Moxi DVR in it's current state and have made some very valid points that could be fixed via software updates.http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/04/21...l-impressions/
As far as CableCard goes, I just made one machine OCUR complaint and another I had (The MSI diva board) came from that factory already OCUR compliant. Making any maching OCUR compliant is not too much harder than installing a program (That's all you basically have to do). One guy even tried it on his Mac (Running Windows) and also passed the OCUR checker utility. I bought a DCT off ebay, hooked it up, and everything worked no problem at all with the public key. It can't get much easier than this.
It could not have been made much easier now. Definitely check out the cable card. $800 for a set top DVR is a bit steep considering all the bugs/shortcomings of it. I put together a quad core (AMD Phenom II 9650, 4GB ram, 1TB hard drive, DVD-RW, Coolermaster 360 Case/PSU, ASUS mobo) HTPC with a DCT for just a hair under $600. Even then, that system is kind of overkill for what it is used for and could have been made bit cheaper. Quiet, stable, and very flexible with what it can do. Add more extenders, add more tuners, add a bluray drive, add more hard drives, playback MKV/any kind of media.
You really need to know what you want to get out of this and decide whether or not you are going to be able to easily get that from an HTPC or just go with a DVR. HTPCs can be very fickle and require constant tuning, that is, if you are constantly trying new things, changing settings, and trying to make Media Center do things that it was not necessarily originally intended for. If you just install Windows, the cable cards, and leave it at that, you won't have any issues with tweaking. Once you start messing around with codec packs, media browsers, unsupported containers, and more and more 3rd party plugins, things start to get exponentially complicated. Now, you can get most things working fairly reliably. Vista Codec Pack is unbeatable for MKV/etc support in media center. Media Browser is an excellent movie browser. However, there is always going to be tweaking with this kind of thing. Movies not showing up properly, hardware acceleration not working requiring better hardware, plugins randomly crashing if you use Vista TV Pack Update.
Windows 7 Movie Library along with encoding all my movies into WMV format have allowed me to build a PC, install windows 7, and NOTHING else. No 3rd party variables to tweak. No Bluray players to mess with, etc.
It's all in what you want to get out of the HTPC and how much you are willing to do to get that. If you want a good STB DVR replacement and a good DVD rip/music jukebox, than an HTPC will be great for you. If you want to run 3rd party software involving gaming/emulation, media browsing/rss torrents/etc, or anything else, it can be done, but WILL require hours of learning and tweaking.
I started piecing my 1st HTPC together back in March and have just completed my second one. I'm still tweaking my first one as a hobby/experimental box, but the new one is strictly a DVR/DVD server-player/music jukebox for the living room. So far everything is looking to work beautifully and couldn't be happier. I've used Tivo, DirecTivo, DirecTV HD DVR, Fios HD DVR, and now Vista/7 Media Center. So far this is the best set up by far.