Great responses here, thank you so much. Of course it does come down to personal preference but your responses are helping me determine which way I want to go, so please don't think there's no value in the discussion. :-)
I'm currently trying re-encoding some videos with Handbrake to see how that goes and if it's worth pursuing. I think I'm probably trying to have my cake and eat it (which to some degree you can do with Retropie lol), but I still have a bit of thinking to do about which way I'm gonna go ultimately.
Guys and gals here - you rock, as always. Thanks again. ;-)