Just wanted to make a comment as a dedicated team member of Assassin.
The AVS moderators did not demand money from us nor have they ever, so that is not the issue. They have always been fair and hope they have seen us as being the same, always promoting AVS whenever possible and always trying to help and reinforcing the belief that a hand built HTPC is always the best option before even mentioning buying a pre-built one.
The comment that our website (assassinhtpc.com) is more focused on selling HTPC's is true but it always has been. Our BLOG (www.assassinhtpcblog.com
) and our presence here has always been focused on helping build your own and helping the enthusiast market. Unfortunately, not everyone has the skills or time to do that which lead to the initial storefront.
Our blog and company are going through drastic redesign and restructuring with the acquisition of an additional company this year which has moved the blog to somewhat of a back seat. These will be finished in 2014 and we are actually looking for a blogmaster (we are taking applications if interested and there is pay involved - PM me if interested).
As of now the guides are free, once new content is added again regularly (which we will always also post on AVS) that may change but lifetime subscribers are grandfathered in.
All content should still be there, and most is up to date. While we merged to our new site/interface there was a short lapse getting the pictures moved over but all the content is nicely provided in the much more navigation friendly site.
Thank you all and stay tuned!