Have been using handbrake for quite sometime now as a casual user not professional or anything. Such a pity they remove target filesize from its option due to certain somebody ranting about it. I really liked that option.
Recently I tested both HandBrake (nightly build svn 5026) & XMedia Recode (188.8.131.52). Let me tell you Handbrake is definitely getting competition from XMedia Recode.
Test 350mb avi to 150-160mb mkv
Handbrake = 15mins
XMedia Recode = 7mins
Handbrake = Constant Quality RF 22.5
XMedia Recode = Constant Quality RF 25
If based on my target filesize range Handbrake has superior quality due to better RF but XMedia Recode is way faster! Handbrake needs to improve encoding speed.