Okay...time for an update.
I decided to bag my Toshiba 3800 set top box, which is somewhat of a bummer since it's video quality is incredible for original disks. Oh well. The DVD compatibility site states that everyone has skipping problems with that unit. So what to buy...
Well, almost everyone at the DVD Compatibility site says that the Sony 725 plays anything. Anything. One guy even said that you could stick in a slice of pizza and it would play Little Caesars commercials. So did I buy it? No way. The other thing that everyone says about the 725 (on Amazon, Home Theater Forum, etc) is that while it looks great, the video sucks. Major artifacts, pauses, flashes. 130 beans for a player that would be blown away by a $60 player. Damn. So what to do...? Isn't there any set top player that has killer video and audio while at the same time able to play a wide range of formats? Yes. Enter the Pioneer DV-563A.
This bad boy came to my attention on the DVD compatibility site. Many people claim it will play most media in most formats so, like I did for many of the other players that had high compatibility ratings, I went researching to see how the audio/videophiles liked it....and damn, guess what? They rave about it.
I picked one up tonight at circuit city ($149 US). You have to look for it. They don't keep it with the other players. I found it in the AV Receiver section. Dropped in a bunch of recorded DVDs in +R format, which it is not advertised to play and guess what? Flawless. Fantastic picture, great audio, and no skipping. None. I even played media that I recorded right to the edge of the disk. Also, unlike my Toshiba, it's as quiet as a lamb when playing backups. Problem solved. The Toshiba will stick around as a backup since I hear that the Pioneer may kick the bucket early, but it's gathering dust for now.
Thanks for all the help and great advice.