Err, im using 8.10 with Totem 2.24.3 without the troubles you describe. I changed my gstreamer-properties video output to '... (no Xv)' because the ati drivers aren't completely sorted out yet. Ati didn't want non-microsoft users using their products for some reason but finally relented quite recently.
Features?!?!?! lol, did a linux media-player have features? I'm putting up with a lack of features because i find Linux so much easier to work with and such a refreshing break after years of agro using microsoft 'systems'. I'm learning a lot but still a noob really.
Good luck and have fun with the freedom linux brings :)