I got myself a DVD burner. I chose NEC ND-2510A which is one of the first dual layer burners. It means that once 9GB DVD media is available I'll be able to burn full 9 GB DVDs which will be quite nice. CDs are so 20th century... ;-)
Although the drive doesn't have DL (Dual Layer) label on the case DVDInfoPro and DiscInfo confirmed that the driver is DL capable. I have quite old Nero Burning Rom installed, so Nero Info tool doesn't know anything about DL.
So far the burner looks and works great, I can burn at 4x speed with absolutely no problem even on my 333 MHz monster, which came as a surprise to me. As a matter of fact, I'm burning while writing this post!
What blew me away last night, while I was playing with new burner, is how easy it is to "backup" DVD movies. It's painfully simple! I played with DVD Shrink which is really just a one click DVD copier. Really amazing! But if you have the time and the will there are many programs that (according to reviews, I didn't test any other) give even better results. But when dual layer DVD9 media becomes cheaper, it'll be even simpler.
I also took a look at DVD Decrypter which can rip whole DVD to your hard drive in just couple of clicks. Also a free software. What the hell happend to DVD encryption. Oh yes, I remember! A kid ripped it appart.
And it looks regional locking DVDs failed miserably too. You can probably unlock any DVD drive with one finger if you know Dangerous Brothers or with tools like Remote Selector.
I didn't know anything about this stuff until this last night. It took me like 3 seconds to find Doom9 where you can learn everything about ripping, burning, encoding, decoding, converting, producing DVDs. There are probably more resources like that, but I didn't even bother to look. I'm not going down that road, I was just curious.
Conclusion after one night playing with a DVD burner: I'm sorry, movie industry. But it seems to me that you really don't have any chance to win this war. You lost the battle long time ago. Just put all your energy into the movies and kick theater operators for charging us big bucks to go to the movies. With hardware prices for a home theaters dropping and the availability of pirated movies... You are in more trouble that music industry if you ask me. But you don't know me, so you don't ask me, I know ;-).