The whole 7.99 for streaming online is rather silly, considering you can find the same (if not more) shows on the various websites mentioned in this thread for FREE, regardless of IP address location. Not to mention the benefit of DVR recording, and other OnDemand services. "Pirate" streaming websites are becoming more and more sophisticated especially the ones that have non pop up or invasive ads. That said, for those who don't frequent various websites for shows/movies etc, Im guessing the price point is quite good. 7.99 can only do so much in iTunes regarding shows and movies, so the fact that 7.99 a month gives you unlimited numbers of movies and tv shows (despite the losses already due to licensing issues etc) to watch streaming via computer or Xbox 360 is very appealing.
As for the whole 7.99 to rent a DVD disc. Well... Netflix will tack on more charges for BluRay discs and additional DVD's but the whole system of going online, to order the dvd, then wait for it to reach your residence seems counter intuitive. I assume you want that movie now? so why wait? I'd rather just stream it online, or download it (legitimately) via the rental service iTunes provides or buy it from iTunes if I'm going to be online starting the process to get the movie/tv show I want. (To clarify: To me, it makes no sense to order online and then wait for the movie to reach the house when you can just watch it/buy it/rent it online). I guess if you want to watch the movie on your amazing entertainment centre with amazing tv getting the disc *could be valid, but to me the money spent in the 7.99 DVD plan can buy you a cable that will send the movie/TV show file or the streamed movie from the computer to the entertainment centre's TV.
Bold statement: I for one believe Discs in general are a format that is fading, with the push for "onDemand" and iPlayer, VideoOnDemand, streaming and digital media viewing the reasons for owning the actual physical disc becomes less and less important or needed aside from nostalgic, or collectors sake.
The Music industry, Film Industry and Television companies (all the background stuff aside (such as licensing, rights etc) have proved once again that they are not willing to accept that times have changed and they need a new businesss model to sustain themselves, produce revenue and the like.
Queue Apple to release some Apple tv feature or iTunes service to collect Netflix's ex customers. I like Apple because they push things forward, and bring change. That iCloud thing they've got going is brilliance (even though "cloud" hosting isn't new). I can now buy/rent or download via other sources and add to my iTunes and it'll be with me where ever I go OnDemand, regardless or IP address location, Music/TV/Movies for 24 bucks a year (or something like that). Couple that with the iTunes app where you can rent or buy the shows/movies on your iDevice and you really begin to see Netflix's businesss model crumble. Ok ok, so you don't have an iDevice but still, there are many ways to avoid Netflix for free or cheaper legal and illegal.
Netflix's new pricing plans, eliminating the combined DVD-streaming offering, may push more people into streaming. These efforts come as broadband providers are discussing, or actually implementing, pricing plans that eventually could make those services pricey to use.
I finally learn today that I could get free movie streaming on Amazon Instant Video since I have Prime membership. I signed up with Prime last year ($79) to get free 2nd day delivery as I order a lot through Amazon. I just found out today through this website that I could have been watching streaming movies for free. The selection isn't nearly as good as Netflix but still better than other options.