Listen to these folks, they know what they are talking about.
I am trying to do the same thing you are only I was willing to "babysit". I wanted to break things down into titles or chapters, which ever is easier, just anything to not have to fast-forward through 3 hours just to pick up where I left off in viewing. I thought I was going to be able to do that with a Toshiba machine -wrong. I have a Panny that will only do that (or used to) on RAM discs. Who uses those? I use DVD-R 99% of the time.
There is always the PC, but I would have to buy a video capture card which cost as much as a DVR! Then you need software and a degree in engineering to use it.
Last night I just ordered a Pioneer DVD recorder with an HDD from Canada as mentioned before. (My first and only time using eBay too).
Anyway, see my thread "Looking for a good quality DVD recorder" for more info than you can process from great folks here with stellar knowledge and advice on this.