No good alternatives
Plenty of content on Freeview, more than I'll ever watch. Trouble is its scattered all over the schedules so how to harvest it. I've had hacked Series 1 Tivos for over 12 years and its ability to capture program series and other things via 'Wishlists' can't be bettered. The main problems are the lack of multi-tuner support and the faff of watching content on other devices. (Don't even mention Virgin Tivo - I'm in a not spot and pay TV would be very poor value anyway.)
I have messed around with various Linux media centres (XBMC, Myth TV, OpenELEC, etc) but they take the piss. Especially when it comes to tuner support. I've wasted days at a time googling, reading fora, wikis and howtos and still haven't had a working TV recorder. Great media players but nothing that will just sit in the corner and harvest programs from the schedules using the installed tuners.
Contrast that with the WMC I have sitting in the loft. Done and dusted and operational in a few hours. I'll need to sort a few add-ons to tweak it but the whole driver bit just worked. Don't get me wrong - I wanted the whole Linux thing to work and had useful outcomes using Smoothwall and Freenas but the media centre thing made me lose the will to live.