The problem is that DIRECTV will never be able to offer all tv shows on major networks long term for six months to a year on demand. So their on demand library will never be a better solution IMHO. It's a great help but it's not the end all.
Plus for upgrades it's ridiculous to have to tell a customer well you have to go and write down all the shows you recorded even if it's 100 TV shows and movies combined and then going to find them all on demand and re record them all rather than just saying okay plug in a hard drive hit back up and then plug it into this when it hit download. And have it not only download all your recordings but all your settings as well.
I'm going to go through that today when my 3 TB drive and BlacX dock arrive for the HR44-700. About 10 days ago, I realized I wanted to add the eSATA, so I stopped recording on the HR44 and we have been watching what had been recorded. I moved all my recordings over to an Hr24 with a 2 TB eSATA on it (by that I mean scheduled recordings, as there is no way to "move" the actual recordings).
I have a two page list of all the series that I am going to record on the new drive, which I will have to manually input when the new drive is set up. It would be nice if this bit of data could be stored "somewhere" and retrieved. It's not the end of the world and only takes perhaps half an hour or so, but it seems silly to have to do it, considering it is nothing more than a list of scheduled recordings.
Of course, this doesn't address the issue of recording accessibility by account instead of by device, but I found a way around that by planning well ahead for the drive change. I would much prefer the capability to view recordings on any DVR from any eSATA drive on the account. Not holding my breath, though.