I own about 381 DVDs now. I keep an list of them here.
I normally buy from Deep Discount DVD. They don't always have the absolute lowest price, but they're always in the bottom few. More importantly, their site is fast, they give a decent amount of info about the movies, they ship quickly, and their customer service department answers the phone. I also rent a lot, mostly from Netflix.
My first player was a Creative PC-DVD Encore. Mine was only a 2x speed. I got it in January of '98. It worked fairly well, except that the control software was very flakey. Most of the problems I blame on the terrible OS it runs on, Windows 95. When I bought it, I figured there would be a Linux version in a few months. I had to wait a long time. Eventually, the drive died (in the middle of a movie).
My second player is a Sony 550, which works far better.
My third player is a Raite 750. I got it because it has a secret code which disables Macrovision. I had purchased a video projector (used), and found it couldn't handle Macrovision.
My fourth player is a Sanyo. I purchased it as a cheap player I could take to Rocky Horror rehearsals.
It turns out CSS is a patheticly weak algorithm, and it got cracked. A fellow posted a program named DeCSS, which reads a DVD and decrypts it. The MPAA and the DVD Copy Control Association are trying to censor it off the internet, by suing anyone who posts a copy. This pisses most people off, so there are now thousands of mirrors.
A lot of people don't want to risk their accounts, but still want to help fight the MPAA. So Mr. Bad at Pigdog Journal wrote another program called DeCSS, that removes Cascading Style Sheet tags from html. The idea is you can link to this, or mirror it, to confuse the MPAA's searches of the web.
Here's my mirror of Pigdog's DeCSS. Please copy it and make your own mirrors.
More info about free DVD player efforts, CSS, and DeCSS can be found at www.free-dvd.org.lu
Naturally a lot of people got upset about Divx, and posted lots of anti-Divx sites all over the web. My anti-divx page is archived here.