A better question might be this, and answer HONESTLY ...
My view ...
The HR20 was DirecTV's first in-house developed DVR, and it was tweaked with the HR21, HR22, and HR23. The technology and architecture was developed in 2005/2006, and it was the DirecTV leading DVR for a good 3-4 years.
The HR24 is the 2nd generation, it was developed after gathering a good 3-4 years of experience, it's based on 2009 technology, and it's still the standard today for a basic 2-tuner DVR. It's an excellent box, fairly speedy, and there are a few manufacturers, thus the current 2-tuner DVR standard for DirecTV.
The HR34 was DirecTV's first attempt at an HMC/RVU server, and as expected with any first generation implementation, especially when you're inventing a entirely new client/server delivery model (RVU), there was much to be learned and fine tuned in the process. The HR34 was developed with 2010 technology, it was publicly mentioned late 2010, followed by a major public unveiling at CES in January 2011, over 2 years ago.
The HR44 is the 2nd generation HMC/RVU server, probably much has been learned from the HR34 since 2010, it's been updated with 2012 technology (thus a 3 year refresh), and it will be the gold standard (my opinion) going forward. If you listen to what was discussed at CES 2013, there appears to be at least 3 manufacturers lined up, with a full launch in 2013, similar to the HR24 multiple manufacturer concept for the workhorse.
So to answer your question, what would I do in your situation, if I was in no rush, I'd go with the new gold standard, the box with the latest technology, since the next major refresh may be a few years away.
The HR34 was an excellent interim solution, both to compete with the Hopper but also to develop the RVU delivery model, until the HR44 follow-on box is ready, which hopefully is somewhat early in 2013.
That's my honest opinion, based on publicly available information in the forums at DBSTalk.
Edited by Sixto, 17 January 2013 - 05:20 PM.