To be quite frank (I hope you don't mind): if you don't like the WDTV and are talking about buying a Popcorn Hour - then please go and get it. Then you can bug the users at the PH forums as this thing isn't the real deal, too!
But please look at the price of this two gadgets. Notice something? Yes, the PH costs about thrice as much as the WDTV. By the way, the PH wasn't able to play back 24p just before the firmware update a few weeks ago. And that was long after the model was released. Now compare this to the fast firmware update of the WDTV and ask yourself again what you really need and really want.
In most cases when something does not work (while others don't experience this problem) it's simply PEBKAC. I don't mean to sound rude, but I can't stand people complaining about stuff that (1) isn't the fault of the manufacturer and (2) that can't be expected on a low-budget device. Although the little WDTV can do a lot and may be quite an exception, you will NEVER get the pick of the bunch for just a few bucks...
Maybe you should try the combo DVDdecrypter/DVDshrink. I was using them for years and never had problems with the result. Usage is quite self-explanatory, too.