With 1TB drives going so cheap often below 100 and just a few days ago they could be had for ~$79 a pop. Seagate drives so 'acceptable' drives. Don't wanna start a what hard drive dies less war. Any drive could die at any given time, it's all up to 'Mr. Murphy and his book of Laws'. Just assume the drive you're working on is gonna DIE and plan a way to deal with the death and you'll be fine.
Anyway, is it really worth the time, trouble and loss of quality? Even with high quality setting you'll still loose something and if you set it SO high where the loss is truly minimal then the time it takes to encode and the file size gets even worse/bigger right?
So far I've ripped about 60 movies 'feature only' and keep them in native VOB format and call it a day. I've got 3 2TB drives on order for my nas so I'll have plenty of room for the rest of my collection... Lost count but an entire wall of my family room is filled with dvds.
Are most of you here transcoding for use on HDTVs (not iPods and such - clearly you'd wanna transcode for those devices).