It turned up this evening :)
Not long before, I was googling to see what it'd cost to replace. A bit much, it turns out.
It also turns out that there's a region-free hack for the recorder using the remote. Well, you more or less expect that nowadays.
It also also turns out that it will play DivX/XVid files. People pay extra money for this feature, because you can stick downloaded .avi files on a disc and watch them on the TV rather than on the PC.
Yet, incredibly, there's no mention of this feature on the box or the manual. Even the maker's main website doesn't mention it. But I've tested it - and I'd never have stuck an .avi disk in it without reading this - and it works.
Maybe the chipset to do this is now so cheap every modern player can do it. Perhaps the makers were too cheap to pay for the 'DivX' logo / certification.