For the record, the first DVD I purchased was Universal's barebones Spartacus in 1998. It is also the first disc I lost to DVD "rot" (or something).
I replaced it with Criterion's excellent SE. After buying a HDTV, I would have upgraded to Criterion's version anyway because it's anamorphic. If Universal is indeed reissuing the barebones version, I wonder if it'll be anamorphic this time?