Updated from my orginal response in this thread.
DVDR75 my first recorder, died after 18 months (600 DVDs).
DVDR77 (2) Poor remote control, Flexible units with fragile electronics.
ES10 - good for VHS tape input, RAM editing ok, video editing sucks.update:
ES15- tried/returned it, no improvements for me over ES10.
R04 - easy to use, compatability issues - returned.
5101 - many issues - returned.
GX300 - well built, good video, video mode editing sucks - returned.Update:
Polaroid 2001G hdd recorder..Tried an "D" build for a few days, had a lot of problems and returned it. Currently have a "G" build model and everything seems to work on it. The remote is accepable, picture quality is good from component in. Have time shift shut off. Issues are: Very short title names, no image adjustments, VR only recording mode and mpeg audio (not AC3). However it has decent DV input and provides lot of bang for the buck.
225 - video mode editing sucks - returned.
531H - workhorse, no EPG for me, many useful adjustments, not perfect but easy to edit/use. Easily controlled from my cable STB. update: added a Pioneer 640H to my collection, missing some features from the 531H but has better extended time (2:30+) recording quality. Works nicely in my setup using the the 531Hs remote control.
Haven't tried one yet, but understand that they have the most DVD menu creation options by far, including chapter menu options.update: Tried and returned Toshiba Xs35 hdd recorder.. had a lot of features, "false positive" copy protection on my cable system, had a disk fragmentaion problem after editing a few movies on the HDD. complicated to learn "hidden" menu system.
Lack of decent burned DVD menu options is one of my major complaints with Sony, Pany and Pioneer. Even my old Philips 77 let me pick a DVD menu thumbnail AND background from within the video on it and shows the user no "unused/blank" menu choices on a finalized DVD.