Very many thanks to all the people who answered my query on which format to choose "+" or "-". I decided to go for the "-" format in the shape of the Panasonic E50, but after a 90min journey this morning, I still did not manage to get one...I have to wait till Friday now.......sob! On my journey back though, I called at one or two of the big retail sheds. Comet, offered the new Toshiba & Sony models and also the HS2, but sadly they were all out of my budget. Curry's offered both Philips & Panasonic, but did not fill me with confidence when the assistant told me that the Philips model does not use the "+" system, and that I was mistaken. When I argued the toss with them the assistant "went to find out", and came back with apologies. In Curry's, they had a Philips 880 machine for £249.00, with a card attached saying "Returned". When I asked the assistant why it had been returned, he could not tell me. Is this the faulty one I have read so much about????. While in the above shops, my partner, (who has no interest in AV at all, and is still perplexed why video 2000 never caught on) pointed out that all the blank media on sale was for "+", and wondered if I was making the right choice. I must admit, if you are tempted to buy a machine with not knowing much about them, and you base your purchase on availability of the blanks, then "+" would be the format. I found one 5 pack of -r, but could not see any RAM at all. When I asked why, I was told that it was expensive to stock!!!!.....how much, I asked " £30 for three" . What a rip off. I checked in Argos. Nine items of blank +R & +RW, and one -R. They have also got rid of the Panasonic recorder that was in last seasons catalogue, and now only have Philips & Bush. No prizes for guessing what the retailers are pushing then. After all that though, I am happy with the advice you have given me, and am looking forward to my E50 being delivered......but its a mine field for Joe Public, and there are not enough people working in retail outlets who have any more of a clue than the poor punter.