HTPC Build Getting Started - HTPCBuild.com
For a case, personally I would want something very quiet and does not stand out...something to match the looks of my receiver that sits below the tv on a tv stand.
Here are some cases that are designed to what a htpc case should be:
Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Computer Cases, HTPC / Media Center Cases, Lian-Li, Silverstone, NMEDIAPC
You can check out Myth TV for recording your favorite programs and such...
What I do for the videos that I own, I use a program called Any DVD to back up my video to my hard drive, then I use DVD Shrink because I'm limited on hard drive space and DVD Shrink will let me make a back up of only the movie itself without previews and trash you might not want or need.
Then I need to convert the VOB files to something that my tv can use because VOB files do play but they are out of order from the tv's software, so I use a program to convert the VOB files to a single MPEG file called VOB2MGP V3
All the software is free except Any DVD but you can get a 20 day free trial on that.
I know it sounds like a lot to go through just to watch my videos from my pc to my tv but it does work well.
I'm sure there's a much more simpler way that someone here can chime in on