Back in the 70s, one of the arguments for declaring a "winner" to the format war was that it was unfair to ask video stores to have to stock both VHS and Beta versions of the same movie. Today, stores often stock both regular and widescreen versions of the same movies, and soon they'll have a third hi-def versions too.
There are many low-level video format skirmishes -- I wouldn't call them wars because to the consumer, the inconvenience is slight. If I have a tape that my friend can't play in his machine, that's a major incompatibility problem. But how many consumers care about whether they're watching a Microsoft or Real codec, or care whether they see HD in 720p or 1080i? For most people, as long as the equipment they own can play anything they throw at it, they don't really care much about what choices have been made. It's the content they care about it.
And so it goes with HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray. In the end, the only people who will care will be the movie studios and the formats' owners (Sony, Toshiba, etc.). To the consumer, it'll be just another one of those many logos you already see on the back of DVD boxes, telling you what format the audio or video is in.