You have a number of choices. I have a Silicondust HDhomerun DVR box. It connects to your cable and also to your PC, indirectly, through your computer network (the box sits on your network anywhere in the house, not necessarily next to the PC). it takes a cable card so you get all of your cable channels in HD or SD, even the premium, scrambled ones. It has three tuners so you can do three shows at once. I've found that it works extremely well with Windows Media Center. Frankly, it isn't a compromise. It works better than the cable company DVR and pretty much as well as a Tivo (some say better). And it's free (not free to buy, but no subscription fee). It even supports DLNA and can stream to other media playing devices besides your computer, but you'd need the computer to schedule shows and record to its hard drive. The only real downside is you won't get your cable company's on-screen guide, and you can't watch on-demand programming. I think I paid a little more or a little less than $100 for it on sale at Newegg. I'm surprised Bob didn't mention this, since he seems to be familiar with Silicondust. Ceton also has a similar product.
Another choice is, er, TIvo again. You can pay a one-time fee and then never pay any subscription charges. They are a little expensive, but once I saw one on special for, oh I forget, between $400 and $500 which included the one-time fee. I have two Tivos, an HD and an older SD. They're great too. I don't use the HDhomerun as much, but it works really well, too. Hope this helps.