Llamas: Unfortunately without an account there is no way for the rep to note your discontent, but I can tell you most reps like I do pass info along as to high request amounts for things.
Unfortunately this is how the Catholics & Mormons and Little Grandma's who like QVC also get there channels on the air.
As a cable company you have to even things out to please everyone you cant just cater to one group of people we have to cater to everyone and offer a variety of programming choice due to that.
I'm not trying to be a badguy here but look at it this way to, believe it or not even the shopping channels have HDTV feeds OTA so be careful what you ask for
As for the rest of the locals I have gotten it on good authority that most except for CBS due to there own little temper tantrums in negotiations will be online within the next 2 months ie. KING, KONG, KCPQ, KTWB, & KSTW.
So in short I know you've all been waiting awhile for these but the wait is coming to a close.
Tuquet: Your friend could get HD with standard cable. They'd be looking at $5.10 for the box per month addtl on there bill and a 1 time $15.99 fee to have the box brought out.
This will only get them KOMO, KCTS, and ESPN. To get the INHD1&2 coming out 10/1 they would need to upgrade to the digital classic teir which would be an addtl 5.99 a month and include the box fee so in reality only end up being .89 more than just renting the box and this will also add roughly 15 digital channels, PPV access, and the Music Choice service. Clearly the better deal.