Little Rock, AR is in the middle of the country. Here we have to have 2 dishes to get all the locals as well as regular programming. 2 dishes on your house IS a bad thing if it detracts from the overall image of your house.
My experience is you talk to retention and you get whatever you want. With both direct and dish.
I don't know that i'd call 2 dishes on your house a bad thing. My reception is FAR better than it ever was with direct as a result of having 2 dishes to get all the satellites. Also this only applies to the west coast.
If you had bad results with reception on DirecTV, it is from poor alignment of the dish itself. I have to say that this is a common occurrence anymore because of the complex dish that is required currently to receive all the satellites on the one dish. They are supposedly working on bringing back a 3-LNB dish instead of the current 5 which should clear this problem right up.
I have found that in most cases if you have issues with alignment, a simple phone call within the first 60 or 90 days (I think, can't remember exactly) of installation and they will do it free. If you watch what is going on and insist that the installer work with the alignment to get the levels up into the 90's, you won't have any problems at all with reception in the future. I, personally, had to go out and manually realign my dish because the installer wasn't real bright, but since I did, I have had NO problems except for during the hardest rain when you couldn't possibly expect any signals at all to come through clouds that thick.