I don't know why I missed this a few weeks ago when it first went up but the Washington Post tested out the current crop of HDTV recorders, including the Hughes HDTiVo, the Dish network's offering, and comcast's HD DVR box. The TiVo powered unit comes out on top as the easiest to operate but they mention the Dish Network's PiP features which sound pretty interesting.
They also point out that permanent archival isn't easy and just barely possible with a $800 D-VHS unit hooked via firewire to a Comcast HD DVR. It's great to hear a typical user ask for this very basic feature that I suspect will never make it into HDTV recorders. Hollywood and the TV networks are freaked at the prospects of perfect beyond-DVD quality recordings being saved by customers when they'd much rather resell you a show's series on DVD for $50 a couple years from now.
I suspect the war will continue between basic customer expectations of what they can do in their home, and what Hollywood studios will let the industry do. [thanks Thomas]