(HD meaning HD-DVD and Blu-ray, currently slugging it out in the marketplace.)
Premise (quoted, not mine): "How many are staying out of this because they don't like the copyright 'protection' which really hurts the functionality and ends up hurting the experience of legitimate users?"
Reply (again not me): "I assure you, only a small group of Slashdot users think like this. Name ONE non-techie family member or friend of yours that has ever ripped a DVD to a computer for the "experience of legitimate users."
A few examples, then
The ones with kids — the kids treat things quite well, but it's still far preferable to let them play the copy in case of accident.
The ones who travel. Those are the ones that tend to transcode to more efficient formats such as DivX, though they wouldn't necessarily know what "transcode" meant... software does it for them.
The ones who have scratched discs that no longer play in a standalone player but will backup on a PC. This tends to be my main reason for copying discs, as my darling sister is far too proficient at destroying optical media.
The occasional one or two beginning to experiment with a PC in the living room hooked up to a TV for games, and realising they can stick all of their films onto that PC for convenience.
The film-lovers who got pissed off a few too many times when a new DVD they bought turned out to have minutes of unskippable ads before they could start watching the film. (Another reason for those with small kids, too, as kids tend to get antsy waiting for things to start and a frustrated parent sitting with them won't do anything for their mood either.)
We're now at the stage that making backups of DVDs is straightforward and not something that requires a tech mentality; certainly not to see the benefits. It happened with CD to MP3, and is now happening with DVD... the general public are heading towards not accepting restrictions on stuff they bought. And, like MP3, the fact that it doesn't take a whole lot of skill to get that convenience means that old but useful standards will become entrenched whilst other new (and possibly technically better) formats are trying to get established. Geeks merely paved the way initially.
Non-techies didn't understand the MP3 format or things like bitrate — they understood convenience.
Current software recommendations
http://www.dvdflick.net/ (for making DVDs from other video types)
If you run into any discs that DVD Shrink has problems with, try this for the initial copy.