I totally understand. Part of my thoughts on this whole thing have to do with the state of E* and its sorted history with product development and support. I've had E* since May 2000, and my 6000 receiver does its job, but doesn't do it gracefuly...its clunky, still buggy, and has some of the ugliest menus I have ever seen. Regardless, I've been pumped for some time on the 921 (I have one preordered at DishDepot), but the more time that passes, the less confidence I have that this $1000 piece of equipment will be anything more than a buggy 721 with HD capability. Not a huge surprise I guess, but a growing concern for me and the cost of the investment.
Dish is not proving they are truly able to provide the fundamental support necessary to develop cutting-edge equipment without continuous delays and empty promises. I understand that all new technology has growing pains, but look at the 721...they have had more than enough time to greatly improve that product, yet according to many online users (Admittedly, I do NOT have a 721), continually miss the boat. Why expect anything different on future hardware? I don't know.
At work one of my duties is to manage a CATV headend for a college, and our programming is delivered via DirecTV. In the 6 years that we've been online--using consumer-grade receivers running 24/7--I have had TWO failed units. Thats all. The software interface is not only aesthetically years ahead of the 6000, but IMO is more intuitive and much easier to navigate. When I got my hands on the DirecTivo, I really liked it! Imagining the same interface with HD capability is looking like the timeshifting holy grail to me...but I'm with Dish Network..do I risk on the 921, developed by a satellite TV company? Or wait for HDTivo, developed by a company that specializes in its task of HDD-based recording.
I think I'm starting to answer my own questions...but I have yet to decide what to do. Likely I'll cancel my 921 order and sit on the sidelines this time--wait and see what happens for the next month or two.