Ah, I THOUGHT this was "DVD Playground!!"
I have been told that my new regular Toshiba DVD recorder (which works like a champ, btw) should have no problem if the "Pause" feature is left on for extended periods of time (e.g., in waiting for another program to record on the same disk)...by the Toshiba tech. people, as the unit--they say--will go into safe "Standby” mode. Yet, I'd appreciate some clarification of this. Perhaps recent technology has really mastered this aspect of DVD recording, but logic tells me (in part, based on advice I've seen regarding DVD players in the past), that there might be wear imposed on the laser or on the motor, spelling shorter recorder life. Obviously, if this is the case, I'd be inclined to just record one or two programs, in close temporal proximity, and keep the use of "Pause" to a minimum (e.g., for elimination of commercials), and just go to “Finalize” (and go for a another disk for the next movie or TV episode). I’ve been mostly using DVD-R disks, which I have been able to snag for as little as $12 for a 50-count spindle (Fuji and LG brands), which is pretty d*mn cheap.
In another place, a responder mentioned TV screen burn, if left on PAUSE, but--obviously---this has no applicability on a RECORDER, only on a DVD player.
Apparently this model does not feature a HD (I had previously thought, on the assumption that it did, that the programs were being recorded on the HD and only later were burned onto the DVD disk: Not so). Incidentally, this machine does not seem to go into “Sleep” mode after a period of time, even after an hour, as far as I am able to determine.