I have the UK spec of the Pioneer DVR 630H and I am very happy with my purchase. I upgraded from the Pioneer DVR 520H after using it for 18 months.
Some reasons for buying the DVR 630H?/
1. 250Gb HD (UK spec.)
2. Dual Layer DVD-R capability
3. 3.5 Hours of full resolution video on a standard single layer DVD-R
4. Full Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) with Guide Plus
5. G-Link infra red control lead for your digi TV or Sat box for automated recordings
6. CD ripping to HD for your own music jukebox
7. XP+ recording for greater than DVD video recording quality
8. The usual component video and RGB outputs and RGB recording input.
As far as I know, the Panasonic does not have features 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 as listed above.
Just my views, hope you find them useful.