I purchased my SD220E from BE Direct and it DOES play R1 RCE Discs fine. No it is not macrovision disabled but you'll find that you'll be paying a premium for this facility from the few places that offer it with macro disabled.
Macro can only be disabled by a hardware mod, no remote or software hack for this player.
As far as RCE is concerned I reckon the info on their site has not been updated and relates to the issue with the older firmware. Current firmware is OK.
The player I got from them had Firmware v1.5 (latest)
You can check by selecting zoom 6 0 6 zoom on the DVD remote.
Have tried R1 Final Fantasy & R1 The Patriot -- both RCE both OK.
Plays them straight off... No disc swapping.
Check your firmware.. that is important.. if you don't have v1.5 get BE Direct to swap it out. I got them to check the firmware on my player before they sent it out. (They did to my surprise and rang me, before despatching it!!)
Disabling macro is only good for R2 discs as most videos cannot record NTSC material..they can only playback NTSC.
To record R1, your player would need to do the NTSC > PAL50 conversion which the 220e doesn't and the 420e does.
OR the video needs to be able to record ntsc as well as pal... expensive... alternative is to have 2 video recorders... one to record PAL the other to record NTSC (source from the US)... a bit OTT though.