Hello gjdixon. I am not sure what exactly you are asking for help with so I'll give you a rundown of what you'll want to have for the optimal Bluray experience on PC. First lets start with hardware.
I see you already have the pioneer bluray drive as well as the software. What you are going to need next is a videocard that has H.264 or MPEG4 acceleration. Really the only two technologies on the market for this function are Nvidia's Purevideo and AMD\ATI's Avivo UVD. That being said, I recommend either the 9600gt or the 8800gt\8800gts 512 from Nvidia or the 3850 and 3870 from AMD\ATI. If you're a gamer looking for the best performance in 3d games, Nvidia's cards are currently the fastest on the market for their price ranges.
With the videocard out of the way, you'll next need a monitor which supports two things: a resolution of 1920x1080 or higher (also known as 1080p) and an annoying Digital Rights Management technology known as HDCP (High bandwidth Digital Content Protection). Your videocards must feature HDCP compatibility as well or you will not be able to watch bluray movies at full HD resolution. This should not be a problem as most modern videocards such as the models mentioned above feature this anyway.
So, with the bluray drive, HDCP Videocard with purevideo or Avivo, the HDCP monitor and the software to play the discs, you should be on your way to some nice movie watching!!!
One more important thing, the decoding software you use needs to have the ability to utilize Nvidia's purevideo hardware or AMD\ATI's Avivo or you will get no benefit from it.
I pretty much followed this prescription (after purchasing the BD202, then a new system to support the new video card) and now I can play BR, but the playback stutters, or, more precisely, it stops every few seconds (sound too) and starts up again. Kind of like having a seizure.
My system: Foxconn mother board, DuoCore 2.53 ghz, 2 gb DDR2-800, ATI 3850, on board audio, 5.1 channel, WinDVD 9 with blue ray playback. Oh, yeah, XP-pro.
I used to have a Sound Blaster + Nvidea 8400 GS card which played back Pirates of the Caribbean ok, but stuttered when playing back the latest James Bond movie. I removed the sound card and replaced the video with the ATI 3850 card and now all BR playback stutters, pixelate, shift size, etc. And the "special effects" don't seem correlated at all with video content (the splash screens and piracy statements play back just fine, however).
This all seems ridiculous since the system monitor indicates a 15-20% load while playing blue ray...
Any hints as to what the problem is? Maybe I need to scratch my hard drive and just start over (I swapped motherboards & replaced drivers when "upgrading"). I am lothe to do that since I have lots of installed software...