Up until about 6 months ago I was a dealer/installer for DirecTV. I have had a Digital Satellite System (DSS) with DirecTV for the last 8 years and I still have it. So I guess I should provide my $02. As a dealer, for mostly high end users, I would occasionally take a close look at the competition Dish Network, Prime Star and a host of others just to make sure I was offering my customers the best option available. There was never any doubt as to, which was the best system. It was always came back to DirecTV. Just some of the reasons why, service, programming options, cost, ease of use, features, availability of manufactures who build the equipment, stability in the market and the list goes on. DirecTV is owned by Hughes/GM enough said. I currently have the newest DirecTV Plus system, which offers local channels and interactive TV. I have had Cable both standard and digital and trust me once you try DSS you will never go back. With multi-room receivers, local channels, and one of the special Sports networks like the NFL Sunday Ticket your cost will be comparable, but the number of channels, reliability, and quality blows cable away. As mentioned in an all out thunder and lighting storm, when you probably should not be watching TV anyway, you will experience some temporary disruption of signal and I emphasize temporary! When I had cable the disruptions in service were much more frequent and would last hours into days. BOTTOM LINE GO DirecTV!
If you need any additional advice feel free to e-mail me.