I read a comment somewhere today that made mention of a video encoder called Handbrake. Curious, I decided to try it out on one of my Twilight Zone DVDs since my player conked out (again, *sigh*).
I also had to install another program called DVD43 in order to get Handbrake to read copy-restricted DVDs, but with those two programs together, making backups of DVD videos is a breeze! With the default settings I was able to rip an episode off of my DVD in torrent-ready quality.
The ease-of-use and noob-friendliness of Handbrake prompts me to give the program (along with DVD43) five pirated DVDs out of five: