I got a closeout HD-DVD player off of EBay for $40 delivered and bought it primarily to play standard DVDs on my HDTV. The HD-DVD unit reads the standard DVD at 480p just fine but outputs a 1080p signal to the HDTV via the HDMI inputs - so I'm effectively using it as a cheap scanline upconverter staying digital all the way. The result looks BEAUTIFUL, much better than letting the HDTV having to convert an analog signal from a standard cheap DVD player.
Plus there are around 300 movies out there in HD-DVD format that are going for under $5 - MUCH cheaper than your average Blu-Ray disk.
I am a very happy HD-DVD owner with no Blu-Ray and with the expense of the latter and free DVDs from the library, I'm going to stay that way for a long time to come.