Channel surfing worked better in the analog days when flipping channels was instant. Now it's more like "Cable directory browsing" which isn't quite as fulfilling for my hunter-gatherer caveman brain.
Yeah. But there are advantages. With the DVR, I'll keep one tuner set to some channel that's semi-interesting, but I'm not married to, and then browse though the directory looking for anything that might be interesting. I'll click on something, watch it for a minute or so, then swap back to the channel I was on if it's not piquing my interest. Still fulfills that old surfing need, but allows me to keep tethered to something, so it's not like the old channel surfing where 10 minutes later you haven't seen anything at all.
I will point out that I was *really* annoyed when Time Warner changed their tuner handling on their boxes. It used to be that you had a tunerA, and tunerB, and there was a swap button on the remote that swapped between them. So you were always watching one tuner. If you changed the channel, it changed the channel on that tuner. This made channel surfing easy because you could swap to the other tuner, change channels to your hearts content, then swap back and the first tuner was still on the channel you started on, complete with buffer for whatever you were watching there.
I guess they decided that was too confusing to people, or too many dumb people couldn't figure it out and complained that if they changed the channel, they'd lose the one they were on, so they changed it so that if you change the channel, it tuns the *other* tuner to the channel, and then swaps you. This has the virtue of always saving the buffer on the channel you were just watching, but means that if you want to surf while keeping one channel always tuned, you have to keep swapping back and then changing the channel (which requires bringing up the guide, finding the next channel and selecting it). It's a pain in the **** really. So yay for lowest common denominator programming, I guess?
It also created a higher percentage of busted buffering when changing channels whilst recording something. Sometimes the box just gets confused about how to do that and you either get a channel with no buffering, or it dorks up whatever you're recording. The old method was less prone to problems because if tunerA was recording something, changing the channel on tunerB didn't interact with it at all, so things just worked.