There is no real reason to convert from component to HDMI. If the player had HDMI out then it would be better to use it in most cases. Then you would have a digital to digital connection.
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In the last issue of Perfect Vision (I think) there was a big spread on DVD players from $79.00 budget to the $10k range and it was noted that very few at any price yeilded a better picture with DVI/HDMI...infact some pictures actually got worse, I know that my budget Samsung DVI is much worse than Comp video (more interferance) bad enough that I pulled it and never looked back.
It is sort of the same question as the whole outboard DAC thing for audio. Which does a better job of scaling, your DVD or your monitor? I have found that on most high end plasmas, the digital connections work better. My personal theory is that given the oddities of plasma pixel counts and the "digital" nature of a plasma display, the manufacturer of the display has an inherent edge in scaling digital to digital. In other cases, it may not hold true--some DVD players have excellent scalers built in, and if you have a true 1080 or 720 display, that may actually work better.
I think its kind of funny, but a lot of the "golden eyes" over at http://www.avsforum.com like s-video into high end machines for standard def material, since it softens it a bit. YMMV.