Actually -- not entirely true. Depending on how you classify the Toshiba DVD Recording Models -- they provide 2 days of guide data, program information and the ability to record with no subscription. It is called Tivo Basic, and these units are available on Ebay. I have one and it works great. This is probaly what you would need for your purposes.
Also, I have a 540 model series 2 on 7.1b and I am using it for manual recording, 30 minute buffer and live pause - but it does not have guide data. It is not connected to the internet or phone line to avoid an interruption of this feature from any unwanted software updates.
So the answer is YES, it is *possible* to use a Series 2 for manual record.