Ramblings from another nerd on the grid
If you weren't aware, TiVo has slashed the price of their top of the line HD DVR also known as the Series 3. Everyone and their dog has the unit discounted. On top of that, TiVo is also offering a $200 rebate. This brings the TiVo Series 3 to $400 or lower. That's half the price of where is was at a few months ago.
Here's a few of those deals:
Look carefully at the rebate. Basically it's similar to a cell phone deal. You want the the lower cost? Sign on the dotted line for a year or two of service. Another thing to consider for the Series 3 is that there are recent developments in adding external hard drives to it's recording pool. See http://www.engadget.com/2007/05/04/how-to-use-your-tivo-series3-esata-port-to-add-an-external-driv for the "kickstart 62" method.
Unfortunately, "kickstart 62" is unsupported by TiVo so it's entirely possible they could download a firmware update and turnoff the eSATA port. That would pretty much hose anything recorded since the drives are "pooled".
Look around... do you see any better deal or integration on the market? Sure, the local cable company HD DVR is cheaper by the gig, but how many gig are you getting exactly? If you are lucky. it's a 250gig drive which means you'll get a weeks worth of HDTV recordings if you are an average consumer.
Honey, I know what I want for Daddy's day... :)