|I suspect the release of the multi-recorder based machines, as Sony's new release of a stand alone recorder, will probably do RAM in.
Doubtful, considering Sony's recorder costs at least $100 more than the Panasonic E80 and doesn't even have a hard drive. Also, it appears to have crippled functionality re: DVD+RW, doesn't do DVD+R at all, and there's anecdotal evidence of reliability issues similar to Philips' 985.
DVD-RAM is gaining a foothold primarily because Panasonic is slowly but surely evolving their recorder into a decent priced, consumer friendly and functionally superior product compared to the competition. There will probably not be any winners or losers in the format wars, per se. That is, we will probably not see the demise of any particular write once or rewriteable format for awhile as a result of multi-function burners and cross format compatibility (including eventually DVD-RAM or wider adoption of the DVD-VR recording format recognition) among players.
Iomega is getting ready to release a do-everthing DVD burner (including DVD-RAM) and Toshiba's latest Multimedia Center Laptop PC includes a DVD-RAM/R burner. That coupled with the popularity of the Panny standalone DVDR decks indicates DVD-RAM is not going away anytime soon.