Panasonic is not the only game in town but they now have upgraded their product line several times, each new model year bringing bug fixes and enhancements versus the previous year.
Both my father and I produce event videos and we both purchases Panasonic DVD-R machines for our business. Since I edit to DVCam (master) and stay digital all the way, the firewire port was important to me. I bought the HS-2 last year and have no regrets. Its a true workhorse. My father edits to SVHS (master) sothe firewire wasn't necessary for him. He needed a deck with no black level bug. He just bought the E80 last month and he finds it does a nice job making DVD's
Before you puchase any machine, be sure to identify what features are essential to you and what features are non-essential.
Although the prices are going down, these DVDR machines are still expensive toys.