Just a comment...
My five year old daughter is one of the biggest fans of The Lord of the Rings. She has learned to read with those books and knows the first two films inside out.
The Fellowship Extended Version was released on her birthday and, naturally, that was her gift last November. Recently, in order to preserve the original discs, I made backup copies for normal viewing.
At first, I made a two-disc set copy. Just for jollies, though, I also put the ENTIRE film (3:55) on a single disc using DVD2One. Naturally, I thought the film would be unwatchable. Much to my surprise, the film looks beautiful. Honestly, unless I were watching the originals and the highly compressed copy side by side, I don't think I could find a huge difference between the two. Dark scenes show surprisingly little artifacts. In fact, the image quality still seems to be better than DSS, which frequently shows artifacts during dark scenes and action.
Obviously, all this video means that I had to completely strip all of the other audio tracks. No problem... the commentaries were great one time, but not interested in hearing them twice. It's actually quite a thrill to look at a little DVD+R and realize that the entire extended version exists on it in such good quality.
By the way, we view movies on a 27" television that has serviced us well since 1995. No interest in moving to anything else for quite some time. Probably on a big plasma display, I wouldn't be quite as pleased with this disc!
Now, if anyone can just tell me where I can get a copy of The Two Towers on DVD... my girl would be the happiest! She's asking every day it seems when it will finally come out. We'll still buy the standard AND extended versions when they are released.... HONEST!
Best of luck