The quality of the UI is highly subjective and open for debate. My feeling is that if I can access the features I need without referring to the manual, then the UI is more than adequate. Streaming is limited to the services Tivo includes in the software. Transfer is limited to other Tivo devices and/or a PC with the Tivo Desktop software or similar app. Upgrade potential is limited to storage capacity only. I bought my first Tivo because it had potential for being hacked and modified. While many of the features the hackers used to add are now part of the Tivo software, many still aren't and Tivo has essentially closed the door on any future hacking. They have made it easier to upgrade the hard drive in the latest model so that's one in the plus column for Tivo. With the possible exception of the UI (which can be highly modified to suit your tastes on a HTPC), a HTPC offers far more options for streaming, transferring (dependant upon your TV provider, of course) and upgrading (i.e., add more features, stream from any source, Blu-Ray and DVD playback, additional tuners, unlimited storage, etc.). One generally gets a Tivo because it's convenient, offers more features than the local cableco's DVR, and is essentially plug and play. People are willing to pay extra for the convenience it offers. If you're just looking for a good DVR that is reliable and easy to use, then a Tivo may be what you want. If you want something to use streaming services then you can buy any media player like a Roku for that task. FYI - a lot of people do buy Tivos to save money vs. their cableco DVR. You get more bang for the buck and can actually recoup a portion of your investment if you go with lifetime service. OTOH, I went with a HTPC because it costs me less in the long run than buying Tivos and paying for their service. I can always repurpose the HTPC for other tasks if I decide to retire it from HTPC use. My last couple of HTPCs have found new life with other family members. A Tivo just becomes a doorstop unless you sell it.