I would say, despite its age and discontinuance, the DTVPal is still one of the best DVRs in the "OTA no-fee" category. But of course that's not what everyone's looking for. Its lack of analog and QAM tuners makes it useless for cable customers, and its lack of a paid guide option is a big drawback for many. It also has a few other drawbacks. I find them all to be minor quibbles, but YMMV:
1. It doesn't spin down the HD in standby, so it uses too much power IMO.
2. The DST bugs: some users have no problems at all, while others find them intolerable. For me they're an annoyance but hardly fatal.
3. Videobruce is right about the case design: it's hokey. I think they tried too hard to give it a TiVo "look & feel." At least the CM version lacks the silly-looking graphics of the Dish version
4. It lacks an S-video output, so picture quality on older SD TVs is sub-par. (Quality on HDTVs is excellent.)
5. The RF pass-through is nice in theory but useless in practice - when engaged, it shuts down not only the RF modulator like a VCR would, but all non-RF outputs too. Might as well just put it in standby.
6. The manual is lacking, and official support is essentially non-existent. Luckily we have AVSForum (as do all these DVRs)
On the plus side, it has an intuitive, but not overly "cute," user interface similar to Dish's satellite receivers; a nice "universal" remote that will save you from having to buy one; expansion up to 1 TB (internal, or even external, although not through the built-in USB port); a grid-style guide that's maintained in the background, so it doesn't slow down your browsing; and most other standard DVR features (except name-based recording, which is probably an advantage
with only PSIP to populate its program guide, since it'll record even if the guide doesn't get timely updates).
Obviously a new DTVPal or CM-7000Pal is a rare find these days. I think Antennalogic still has a few if you're willing to pay his prices. Used Pals are still fairly common on eBay though.
All things considered, I'd give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars if I were doing an AVSForum review (which allows half stars), but how you'd key that into a post is beyond me.