Re: DirecTV vs. Time Warner Cable
DirecTV is one of the best things I spend money on. It just works, it has everything. I don't really ever have to worry about carriage squabbles (I know they've had a couple of issues, but minor for me and less than others imo), and as a sports fan nothing else can touch it. I spend money on lots of things that make me less happy than NFL Sunday Ticket.
Check out FatWallet or somewhere similar to see if you can find people who are signing up and what kind of deals they are getting. A lot of that can be dependent on what customer service agent you pull and having full knowledge of what they are offering. The deal on the website isn't always the only thing they've got running. I got free NFL Sunday Ticket one year by calling and claiming I got a letter that a bunch of other subscribers got (read about it on FatWallet) so I know they don't treat every subscriber or new subscriber the same which is disappointing, but seems common with cable companies in general.
Rain interruption is an issue, but only comes up a few times a year for me. To me, it's worth it even with that small downside.
I have had ATT Uverse in the past few years, and might have stuck with that for awhile, but they didn't have MLB Network at the time and I just get tired of that kind of crap. With DirecTV I know they are going to carry everything I want, because that's their competitive advantage - offering everything.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.