I contend basic upscaling filters can make short work of PAL region stuff (720 is about 40% more than PAL) let alone my setup (FFdshow has an "avisynth filter").
Ripping myself: DVD to H264 MKV with AAC and any filters I deem fit (older films that I tend to go for are not always subject to the best transfers*, I have a bit of experience in the area though). The 1 gig or more DVD rips using xvid are usually excellent.
DVD5 via whatever method I deem fit (quant dropping tools like DVDshrink are OK for most things but I will occasionally re-encode).
*a nod to the anime world here, stuff that I consider a bad transfer would be considered a "nice" one compared to some of the stuff I have seen in those realms.
Less than legit. I watch a lot of stuff on my stock hardware xbox which does not play well with high res H264. The only problem is "scene" rules concerning TV rips (and most other video rips) make for useless quality videos if not done properly (and given the prevalence of the "6 minutes after East coast airing to pre" coupled with the TV companies ignoring basic lossy compression concepts (I should not see macroblocking but I do) and generally being cowboys properly is not necessarily an option).
Filters can help but real time stuff is not easy, even with a high powered machine.
To this end I will often stitch together the best version I can from multiple sources (many are quick to discount the foreign stuff) or even grab a .ts if they exist.
Regarding best version I tend to aim for the extended cut, directors cut, unrated version or similar and whatever method fills the need rules here.