Well my 9 year old Akai vcr has just about had it I think. In the process of sorting through my collection of video tapes today it's now decided to output sound fine, however the picture is about 90% transparent snow with the picture behind it. I own a few region 1 dvds so multi region playback is essential. A local shop in Peterborough who I've bought from previously (www.multiregionmagic.co.uk) pre modify all their machines. Also a built in hard drive would be preferable but nothing too extravagant. I'll say a budget of somewhere up to £400. It seems to be a direct choice between DVD-RAM and DVD-RW. The Panasonic range seemed the obvious choice at first until I realised that although they could use DVD-R discs, DVD-RW was a no go. Or it's Pioneer that can handle both DVD-R and DVD-RW but no DVD-RAM. What's the current situation with these formats? I don't want to get a year or 2 down the line and be left with the betamax of the DVD recording age. And how come hardly any of them support DVD+R/W?