I wish HD-DVD had won because it was the better format... not in terms of PQ or Sounds as in theory both formats should just use VC1 encodes most of the time and thus be the same. HD-DVD was a stabilized format without profile issues like BluRay, it wasn't region locked liek BluRay (although this is less of an issue now), alot of HD-DVD's were being released in the states as double sided, DVD/HD-DVD's so you could lend them to ya mates or whatever... and it worked from the offset... BluRay was majorlly flawed from the beginning and it's literally only just over the past 3 months we've finally got everyone releasing profile 2.0 decks with this silly BluRay Live nonsense on it.
However, no point in dragging up which was better this and that... the fact is HD-DVD lost... however I'm on about 70 discs and 12 BluRays as I only got my BluRay player start of December...
As for PQ and Sound... if you get the correct transfer and a TrueHD or DTS-HD soundtrack, believe me if you can't see the difference between SD and HD then your eyes are gone... it's incredible to see. You look at King Kong on standard DVD and then watch on HD-DVD... it's on another planet... even my missus and she just doesn't give a monkies notices the huge and it is HUGE leap in performance... sound is incredible.
I've got American Werewolf In London and it's not the best BUT is a large leap over the special edition DVD I owned... it's just not reference quality that's all. The start is still grainy as hell but suites the Yorkshire Moors but you can see the detail difference on the opening credits... black levels are still poor though throughout the film... pity they didn't do a true remaster of this one
As for upscaling abilities, the Toshiba HD-DVD's were all in a class of their own tbh... the Panasonic's and Samsungs were rubbish and to be honest, my Panasonic BluRay BD30 is crap compared to my Toshiba Ep30 for upscaling, the Tosh is in a league of their own.