If you buy it with a HP PC, its only $560
Indeed, I have had an HP machine with one of these for a couple weeks now. Overall, it does quite well. I have seen a variable number of pauses playing HD content so far. These are short (less than a second) and vary from none to 6 per movie. Not sure at this point if it is the SW, the disk, or the drive. Probably not the PC as with the card that is in there, the CPU and memory are only running at about 30% while playing a disk.
In my case, I needed an HTPC anyway and can allow it to do an anamorphic stretch for my due soon RS1. Much cheaper than 2 players and a scaler!