The Pioneer LD-V4300D was chosen as the reference player for a number of reasons:
The testing cycle for the board is quite involved and targeting many players isn't practical (or affordable)
The player is industrial and single-sided which means the mechanism is strong and the head-tracking as solid as possible
The player is NTSC and PAL compatible and supports digital and analogue audio
The player is RS232 controllable (allowing the 'player integrated capture' functionality)
The player has a good, clear service manual which is widely available
The player is fairly modern and seems to be relatively easy to source (I had to buy 3 just for this project)
There is no reason why you cannot use other players - but there is no standard for the RF-tap; so you will be on your own to verify the RF stage and adjust for the player (please publish the results if you do this though!).
On the resolution - yes it's 'only' 10-bits but that is being used to record the RF (it is not video and the two should not be confused). The RF signal is generated by the laser shifting between two distances (pit or no pit) - so the resolution provides sensitivity when detecting the current state - you could go to 10 million bits resolution and not really gain anything more except expense).
It's the sampling speed that provides most of the actual timing recovery which is why 8 times the Nyquist is way more important (and the board is capable of 40 million samples per second).
Still, the project is completely open - so if you want to modify the design and improve it, please go right ahead! I am. by no means, a world-leader in RF design. By making it open my hope is that others will join in and make it better