Re: My first blue ray experence.
@OP: you've got 2 choices: buy a standalone and be done with it or be prepared to tweak, tweak and then tweak some more with your HTPC setup.
Regardless, BD are not yet mainstream and for that, you will have to pay some price.
Incidentally, I have both and can say in retrospect that my PS3 on my 60" Sony gave me far better results with less time wasted in fiddling; since I value my time actually enjoying the movies and not downloading drivers, this was *my* best solution, YMMV.
I think that's what it boils down to: you got the cash, go the lazy way and get a standalone, if you don't got the cash then you will have to use a makeshift setup that will cost less money but cost more time and frustration. The ideal scenario is spending time OR money, if you ever get into the situation when you spend time AND money, it better be a hobby you enjoy or something that you absolutely need.
Taking it further - I actually have 2 setups now and have abandoned the HTPC route: 1) PS3 with 60" Sony DLP and 2) XBOX 360 with HD DVD drive and VP4001 Manrantz projector. Very briefly, I am glad BD won out because my experience with HDDVD was spotty and my experience with BD has been 100% in the 30 or 40 BDs I've watched in the last year or so.
Anyone want to buy an XBOX 360? :P
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