The Pace is a better box than the Humax?
Depends on the specs they get from D*. The 20-700, the first of the HD HRs, was and is a superb DVR, the 21-700 was probably the best of the 21 Series DVRs but the 23-700 (another of the 21 Series) was a poor DVR. I think the 24-500s are a very good DVR, but they have a habit of doing some really strange things. When they work correctly, and most of them do, they are a superb DVR. But when they go berserk...well, you'd really have to experience it to appreciate what I mean.
Can't comment on the 44-500, haven't seen the need for one yet.