I am one of the few who are thinking about cutting the cord - D* to be specific.
I read the whole thread and there are a few issues I didn't see. First off, for me the reason is money!
I pay $96 for standard def, three boxes (1 a DVR), and have had Direct for 8 years now.
The local stations are squashed beyond belief, I think because I am in a smaller market. Any time we have ever needed to watch local news due to severe weather we hadn't had signal. And PQ is terrible, much worse than it used to be. Also, we get NO subchannels in this package.
Once I started looking into putting up an antenna on my 30ft ham radio tower, I started to realize that most of the programming we watch now is major network stuff. Also, while the wife was away coaching the Special Olympics in Greece this year for three weeks, I actually never turned on the satellite - I watched stuff on my Roku.
Looking at TVFOOL, if I put up two antennas (which I am building), I will have 69 OTA channels from two markets (Charlotte and Greensboro, NC). I understand most of that will be repeats, junk, home shopping networks, and religious. But there will be some good stuff on there, too!
Since I would have already spent money on the internet and speed (3.5mbps), and with Roku and its' private channels, it is only a few shows that I would miss. Looking again - almost all of them could be purchased on Amazon. Now, $20-30 for a season of Mythbusters, Top Chef, Project Runway, Tosh.0 is not free, but I could buy three to four shows for the price of one month of satellite and watch anytime I want.
The private channels on the Roku have content that isn't available on cable/satellite, and even terrific stuff (best bits from Late Show/Late Night/Conan up every day, available instantly - access to Itunes podcasts, justin.tv, internet archive, public domain channel, TED, and more).
I find value in Netflix, and have used them for years. The streaming quality is good and I find I watch more interesting programming than what is on most of the pay tv channels.
Roku does have live streaming news channels (BBC International, CNN International, Al-Jazeera English, Russia Today English, and more) and the perspective is actually quite refreshing. It is a bit below SD, but I am not a news junkie, so that is okay.
Crackle offers free programming (old sitcoms and old Columbia movies), with some ads, and the PQ is fine.
I run linux at the house, so I have a TV tuner card and will be trying to use Mythtv to make my own DVR. I think I will be able to automatically record everything I need, and have it available on the ROKU for watching by the next day, transcoded and perhaps commercials automatically edited out.
If I want to be able to delay watching live content to skip commercials but not have to wait a day, I might have to purchase another computer for the TV, but it shouldn't be more than $300 to do that. Older TV tuner cards that record ATSC are $20-$40 each... So adding multiple tuners shouldn't be that much of a cost.
We are going to go in stages - one antenna and see how the records look on the computer... then another antenna and more tuner cards - then maybe suspending the account (and not closing) and see how we get along. We don't watch sports, we don't have kids - and honestly lately it has been a chore flipping through the channels and finding something new to watch. If you have no debts and have disposable income - of course, enjoy what you want.
But I think a lot of us have cable/satellite and don't consume the amount we are purchasing and are being taken advantage of; bad service, bad programming, bad content. There are some GREAT shows on pay tv - but they are available on Amazon (like LOUIE, which I love) to purchase individually, or wait a few months (or a year!) and get the whole season from Netflix. I know most Americans would put their satellite/cable above their food budget, and consider it a necessity rather than a luxury. I think with internet streaming devices, Netflix, Amazon and/or Hulu, and OTA, though we might be good and will be spending quite a bit less in the long run without really sacrificing anything.