I, too, used to have a U-Matic deck, Don! (Although I never really built up much of a collection.)
Here's what I think, unfortunately, we're in for...
DVD sales are really taking off. Just as with cassettes & CDs replacing LPs, DVDs are rapidly replacing VHS as the pre-recorded medium of choice. People will replace (or augment) VHS recorders with DVD players and buy new copies of material on DVD.
The manufacturers of both hardware and software (increasingly one and the same thanks to mega-mergers) want this to continue. Therefore, even though the technology for HD DVDs is within reach, they will hold off on their introduction for several more years (at least 5 is my guess) until sales of DVDs level off.
Given the advantages of discs over tape, some form of HD DVD will be the ultimate high-end format (at least until we go 100% solid state). To the extent that DVHS survives, it would likely have the same relationship as has developed with cassettes vs. CDs (and is developing with VHS vs. DVD). Tapes wind up being the low-end format for pre-recorded material, but survive due to the possibility for home recording. (Even this may change over time. Just look at how affordable CD audio recorders are becoming.)
It is the prospect of waiting another half decade for the introduction and propagation of the ultimate pre-recorded HD format, and the uncertainty over copyright enforcement tactics, which has me building my own collection.
If I could rent or buy HD material, I wouldn't bother with home taping. Once reasonable (large storage, good UI) HD PVRs emerge, even rentals would be less attractive than timeshifting.
Just my $0.02... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
[This message has been edited by peterd (edited 04-18-2001).]