I was once a G|Aer but it was long ago and I have since forgotten my screenname! Anyway, I just wanted to post up my thoughts on the Pioneer DV-444 in case anybody was in the market for a decent DVD player.
I have to say that this is perhaps the best "bang-for-the-buck" DVD player I have ever seen. Everybody in my apartment is an anime junkie so we have a lot of VCDs, SVCDs, DVD, etc and most of them are 'home-made'. This player suited our needs very well. Plays CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R media. Has progressive scan output. Component Output. MP3 playback. And a search on pricegrabber will show that you can buy it for about half off the MSRP of $450. Got mine for $233 after shipping from etronics. You can get the one model down from this without progressive scan for $190 (before tax and shipping). Also, it has a silver finish, and a thin profile.
My only gripe is the product badging. I'm chinese so the number 444 made me a little weary about buying it. (BTW, 4 pronounced in chinese sounds like 'die' - very bad luck). They should name it DV-888 (8 = prosperity). But the features outweigh the name... I hope...