DVD hard drive recorder combinations first started to appear in Australia as a consumer appliance in early 2003.
Panasonic's $2799 DMR-HS2 can record 52 hours on its 40GB hard drive. You can view while continuing to record. There is a time slip to allow a 30 second back view, withou disrupting recording. You can record direct from digital camcorders and from VHS recorders. I can't tell whether you can record digitally from a DVD direct to hard drive, although you can record from the hard drive to a DVD-RAM. There is also a PC-Card slot for still photos.
Prototype Blu-Ray recorders, like the Hitachi Hi Vision, which appeared in late 2002, will be able to record 27GB on a DVD like disk.