I didn't really see what all the DVR fuss was about before, but now that we have a free one with our Verizon service, I'm loving it. Pausing live TV is cool, but my favorite aspects are (1) the seamless way it records your shows automatically, and (2) the 30-second fast forward button. This is old hat to DVR devotees, but I'm new to it and still think it's neat.
I love that we can watch both the American Idol performances and results show—three hours of programming—in 1.5 hours or less. I love that I can find a two-hour Andrew Jackson documentary and, instead of having to watch it at 10pm on a Thursday and sit through forty minutes of commercials, I can record it (with one button press) and watch it over the weekend in eighty minutes.
Yes, you could technically do these things with a VCR, but with DVR there's no tapes, no malfunctions, no system to learn, you can automate the whole thing, and you can fast forward in 30-second increments to avoid commercials.
For some people it lets them watch a lot more TV, but for us it just lets us watch television smarter. You don't plop down in front of the TV and see what's on--you check your DVR to see what you recorded. Then you skip all the commercials and other BS.