Actually, the cheap dvd players tend to be more friendly to the home made stuff, so getting those probably won't help much...
You might want to get some 4-5 year old dvd players (not sure where to get them though...)
There are utilities to "verify" your burned DVD -- I would go to videohelp.com to see if you can find one in their tools section.
Other than that -- perhaps adhering to some generic guidelines will help.
Off the top of my head...
-keep video+audio bitrate <= ~7.5mbps
-keep the total size <= ~4gb (on dvd5)
-don't use sticky labels on your dvd's
-keep burner firmware up-to-date (follow instructions carefully when updating firmware)
-keep burning software up-to-date
-don't always burn at the max speed of your burner/media combo (I've had great success burning at 4x)
-probably some other things that I can't remember at the moment...