I have a DVD-ROM drive and I tried to get into the DVD Ripping game on the recommendation of one of my friends.
He recommended starting off by trying a trailer or something small rather than a whole film. Unfortunately it took ages for my computer (a PII 400) to decode the VOB file and encode it to something better and that was just a trailer.
My friend is in the Ripping game quite a bit. I am not, I hate having a film on more than one disk, I'd rather have my 125 originals than 200 or so Ripped movies.
My friend rips them using the new(ish) DivX codec. This allows the rippers to get films down to CD size and still retain a lot of the quality. The sound gets ripped to MP3 or WMA as well to try and keep the sound part down in size. Most of the time he rips them to 2 CDs just to make sure that the quality is superb but that means having the two CDs in both my drives and using something that has a playlist feature but it still leaves a small, anoying gap.
Ripping them to VCD isn't worth it unless you want to watch the films on a DVD player it also takes ages to rip to VCD.
Flippers - there are some DVD Flippers out there but they are very old now - I don't think I've seen a new DVD come out as a flipper since Jackie Brown(I think) over a year ago. I too have Starship Troopers, however I got the Region 1 copy because the film is not interupted. The disc is still double sided but it is only the extras on t'other side.
MALC - oh £40 for the whole caboodle well if you are a huge Star Wars fan like me then maybe go for it, yeah. Just to have Star Wars in a digital format that will never wear out. But then George Lucas might get round to releasing the Star Wars films on DVD eventually. All of my VHS copies of the trilogy (all 4 of them) are wearing out.