I just bought a replacement XBox DVD drive since mine died. I modded my XBox a few years ago. It has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I don’t use it to play pirated games. I use it for a media center. I can watch DIVX encoded movies and ANY other type of movies that most people can only watch on their computers. I haven’t upgraded the hard drive in the unit so I mainly relied on watching movies via the DVD-Rom drive.
My next upgrade will hopefully be a 500GB hard drive. I can resort to transferring things over to the HDD instead of abusing the optical drive. I paid around $70ish shipped for the drive. I think it’s worth it. I could have bought a new XBox and modded that but the newer versions are tad bit more complicated than the older models that were made prior to February or March of 04 I believe.