I really think you guys are being a little overly picky on this stuff. You really have to look extremely hard to notice most of what you are talking about. EDIT: Well, except for the softness part that arxaw was talking about. That really is annoying.
I think you are expecting too much from such broad consumer based satellite stuff and need to keep in mind that DirecTV's re-broadcast
channels are never going to be as good as OTA. If you were like Dave and getting it straight from the source distribution point, then that would be different. DirecTV just can not give the same quality on the individual channels as OTA broadcasts do because of the bandwidth constraints.
I really question if there is really enough of a difference to even matter between the two sources. If you want the "looking through a window" quality, look through a window.
In any case, the whole point to DirecTV getting the channels up on their satellites was not to get the absolute best quality picture ever (which they really could do if they had a couple more satellites up there to devote max bandwidth to every channel carried), but was more for the average consumer who just can't get such a complex antenna system up which is required in a lot of areas of the state or for those who don't know how to do it in the first place.
I don't think its really all that fair to try to compare the two apples to apples. It's always going to be a win for OTA because of the amount of other crap DirecTV crams onto their satellites.