Scott, as an active member, I am sorry that your previous posts went unanswered. It seems that you post reasonable questions, so I'm not sure why people would ignore your threads.
I run a Panasonic RP56 in 480p mode and have strongly considered the HTPC route. It's not much more expensive (maybe $1K or less) and allegedly supplies you with a far superior picture. I have yet to see someone scale a 480 image to 1080i and have it look amazingly spectacular. The scaling would have to be absolutely top-notch because that is quite a jump. Also, you must consider the fact that with a Panasonic DVD player you have ease of use. With a HTPC, you would undoubtedly uncover many issues that might prevent you from enjoying your HT. That alone prevents me from switching. I work too hard to screw around with my rig every week.
I bought a panasonic rp91 because of other owner's rave reviews and I have an htpc. I have run several different software dvd players and tried all manner of tweak and it may be heresy to say this but.... the rp91 beat them all. On ease of use there is no contest the panasonic is a no brainer. Keep in mind that others far more wizardly than me say they get the htpc to look better.
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