Yeah my Pace box was exactly like that, sometimes needed booting many more times a day than once. It didn't handle the EPG or mini menu particularly well either. The SA was a bit better but not much.
The V+ still crashes occasionally and it is sluggish the first few minutes after boot up i.e. it gets stuck on a channel for a few minutes and can take 10 mins to populate the EPG. On the whole thought it is substantially more stable and handles the vod menus better. The v+ isn't perfect.
HDD recorders have the added advantage that it is yours. The v+ has a microscopic 160Gb hard drive in that you cannot upgrade
other than that and it being mpeg2 it's a fantastic piece of kit.