I'm trying to figure out how to rip dvds in near perfect quality, because I can't stand them. Dvds are such a pain in the ass, with their idiotic menus for kids, how the discs so often can't be read properly by the dvd drive, how they will play on one device but not another etc. As far as I'm concerned, the whole thing is broken.
So not really having done this before (I've tried in the past with meager results), there's a lot of angles to cover. Most docs seem to recommend 2 pass encoding, whatever the format. I've experimented with x264 and xvid, and I can't really see a difference between 1 pass and 2 pass encoding when running at 900kbps bitrate. Probably at higher compression it becomes more apparent, but I'm satisfied with that ratio.