I have a Quad Core 2.40GHz Q6600 w/ 3GB Ram, running 2 1.5TB drives with 3.0Gb/s transfer rate.
I just now finished a 1 hour 57 minute SD DVD rip to a 2GB, h.264, 2.5Mb/s bitrate mkv with Handbrake and it took right at 42 minutes. I can do a Bluray rip to an 18GB, h264, 25Mb/s mkv from m2ts in around 5 hours. I do these in single pass because, quite honestly, I cannot tell the difference between single pass and 2 pass PQ other than it takes twice as long even in turbo 1st pass mode.
I would love to have a new Intel i7 3.2GHz machine but that is "just a biiiit outside" my price range right now.
EDIT: Another thing you can do since storage is so inexpensive right now, is to use MakeMKV. Does a straight 1:1 rip. It just repackages the video from VOB to mkv container. Some people have had issues with it, but I have never had a problem.
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
totally worn out, shouting '...holy sh*t ....what a ride!'