This is the kind of question I like, thank you for the chance to open up a discussion.
buying dvds can be kind of scary at first, because purchases aren’t instantaneous. DVD sellers have hoops of their own they need to jump through for customs purposes, and that’s likely to get your credit card flagged, so you end up having to call the fraud prevention line of your credit provider to clear the purchase. It’s kind of involved, and daunting. But rainbow shoppers is very nice and they are quick and discreet with shipping once the hoops are all jumped through. plus they usually have some good titles on clearance.
My best advice in terms of downloading is to leave no stone un-turned. Have several different sources and be flexible about how you download. Search the tumblr tags. Google until your eyes fall out. If you don’t have Emule or another peer to peer program, get it, it’s a good last resort. Try lots of different search keywords in google, sometimes the title of the video plus “.avi” or “.mov” etc. will help narrow down results, sometimes adding keywords like “new gay japan”… then bookmark the sites that you find that seem to have a large archive of download links. Even if it’s stuff that seems to require a “premium” membership to access, because they are a good source of helping you figure out search terms to use, and they usually post screen caps along with the dvd covers, which helps you see if it’s something you want to watch. (P.S. it also helps if you actually buy a premium membership to a filehosting site. Some sites will break up download files into lots of different downloads that each take forever to complete, and this is a huge deterrent for those sites, but they are sometimes all you can find for a high quality download. if you can bring yourself to shell out the cash, it actually is worth it to have one file to download, at a faster speed. I know filehosting sites all seem kind of fishy, but I haven’t had any problems so far.)
In terms of navigating sites that you can’t read… the official sites of the companies are good place to start, because you can click around randomly and explore without having to worry about viruses or adware. If you spend enough time on company sites, you will find pages with video previews, and that’s the best way to figure out what kind of movies you want to download.
those are some official sites of JGV companies.
I really can’t give recommendations, because there is literally SO MUCH out there… just think of the gifs I make as my recommendations, as corny as that sounds. ♥