This is a gift for my parents, so I am looking for something that just works. Money is not an issue (as in the $30 difference is no issue).
Also, correct me if I am wrong, but Roku doesn't get youtube or PBS but Apple TV does?
All models of the Roku are identical in terms of Netflix performance - the only exception is whether they output in 720p (the LT and HD) or 1080p (the XD and XS). Roku does not have a Youtube channel - they used to, then Google made them take it down, and supposedly it is coming back soon. As far as I know there is no PBS channel on the Roku. I have never used Apple TV but based on what I've read the Roku has more functionality and Apple TV is most useful for those who like to remain in the Apple ecosystem. Angry Birds is great on the Roku and I can see "parents" enjoying it as well if that makes a difference.