I purchased this DVD player shortly before the last major studio, WalMart, and NetFlix switched their support to BluRay. Two things brought me to purchase this player: 1) my old DVD player stopped working 2) the discounted sets made the purchase reasonable.
The picture quality with an HD-DVD is mixed. Unless the flick is contains a lot of high speed action or special effects. The viewer will see limited difference between a HD-DVD and a quality up-convert DVD. I had problems viewing some of the discs. One wouldn't load and the other stopped in the middle of the show -- both had the same error. After updating the firmware it resolved 90% of my issues with those two discs.
Using the player with a traditional DVD is quite good. Although the box states it will up-convert to 1080p, I have yet to get that on my TV. Now that Toshiba has pulled the plug on HD-DVD would I recommend purchasing this unit? Only if you understand at the end of the day you are getting a pretty good up-convert DVD player. With the close-out prices and 7 movie rebate offer, this is a pretty good deal!
Update On Apr 18, 2008: I have not had any additional problems with disk skipping. I think the latest firmware did the trick. Also, I just received a $50 gift card from Best Buy due to the discontinuation of HDTV.