I have the PCI-E version of the tuner card and it works admirably. I do use the linked remote with Windows MCE 2005 (haven't tried it with Vista) and after about 15 minutes of use it was second nature, but it might go against your "No dongles" requirement.
Hm. One says that it supports XP, the other doesn't. Comes with different drivers maybe? Dunno.
I have plenty of dvd-rom drives, that's not what I want. I hate carrying around media and having it end up damaged and unreadable. I want them all on my hard disk. I have made DVD images for years, but they're just too large per disk to use practically when you have lots of movies. 5GB for one movie? Bah. I don't want to lose a whole lot of quality. I figure this is best vs. divx.
Well, I haven't actually tried to record anything using mine, so I couldn't tell you how large of a file it will create (I can try that tonight). I do know, using my old ATI All-In-Wonder X1800XL to record a three hour TV movie took close to 10Gig (stored in it's raw format).
Not having ever owned one, I can't say how much better the ATI 650s are (though I hear plenty of praise about them). I'm certainly pleased with my AVerMedia PCI-E Combo and the only complaint I have against my All-In-Wonder is the re-installation of the software every time I update the drivers for it.
I was sort of looking forward to the HD All-In-Wonder card that was supposed to come out last month, but decided against it.