I thought about implementing the MD behind the panel as well, but we went a different route and added an MD below. Why? Simple. Usability. One of the things people tend bring a CD or DVD home. They don't want to walk into a closet where the server is situated to put the media into the drive. They go straight to the display, insert the media into the device and want to start watching/ hearing.
Yes, it does add "clutter" to the living room, but in my opinion, it is well worth it.
Why does MD behind the panel mean no DVD? I was thinking of tucking my MD behind a wall-mounted panel as well, but I was assuming that I could have the edge of the MD case in line with the edge of the panel, so that the button on the DVD drive could be accessed from the side and a disk inserted vertically. Is this unworkable for some reason?