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Many recorders and players do both, but cost more. I say save some money, pick one (probably DVD-R) and move on. If you pick wrong one, chances are in a couple years you'll be buying a new one anyway. Moreover, you'll probably be able to get a cheap one w/ a built in converter or two trays to duplicate one to other.
DVD-RAM and DVD-RW are rewritable types. They're more expensive and for my purposes aren't worth worrying about.
I got Panasonic DMR-E55K:
It records to DVD-R like a VCR. I don't use it to record live TV so I don't use VCR+, but it has it. Also, it has TimeSlip which lets you watch something while it's recording (start recording "24" at 8pm and start watching it from begining at 8:20 to speed thru commercials like a TiVo). Again, I don't use this, but it has it.
Plain and simple, it records my TiVo, camcorder, digital camera (RCA cable output), VCR, etc. to DVD - that's what I want it to do and that's what it does. It's easy, creates a good menu w/ thumbnails and my chosen titles, it's a name brand w/ good reviews and was fairly cheap (there was a rebate at time).
Also, it plays CDs and mp3 CDs w/ a good interface so not only does it replace a CD player, but since you can put so many songs on one CD, it replaces a CD changer.
An interesting trick: If you have a digital camera w/ RCA cable output, you can hook it directly into dvd recorder and create a quick slide-show dvd. Many cameras even have a slide show function built in! You can use sound from a music channel, CD, etc.
If you're going gung-ho into all nitty gritty about DVD recorders, you're either just starting here or haven't bothered to read this far. If you're looking for a good, relatively cheap solution to digitize your tapes, archive TiVo, etc., I recommend Panasonic DMR-E55K.
Bear Cahill runs: The Armchair Geek (www.thearmchairgeek.com), Webpage Hosting Info (www.webpagehostinginfo.com), Go To College Online (www.gotocollegeonline.com) and The Video Exchange Community (www.videoexchange.org)