Well, I finally upgraded to Dish HD a few days ago, and I love it already. This is my first HD experience, so I can't compare it to D*, but I think the pq is great. Even on my locals....I was using rabbit ears to get my locals before, and I think the quality is just as good.
As far as programming, I think the voom channels are cool, but I can see where they would get repetitive and boring, just like HBO, Cinemax, etc. IMHO all channels show the same crap over and over, we just have to decide how much of the different kinds of crap we want to pay for. I've had the AT250 pack for the past 4years without any premiums, and I haven't missed a thing. (Of course I would get the HBO pkg just for The Sopranos and canxld it between seasons....)
As far as channel count, I know E* will be lagging behind D*, but the competition is so fierce between the two, that E* will catch up in time. I'm willing to be patient, although getting that damn USA and SCI FI HD up and running would make the wait alot easier! F/X would be great, too!
This is just 2 cents from a regular HD viewer, not a crazy a/v or E* maniac, for what it's worth.