Here's how I stand on the C-SPAN situation.
Personally, I have only seen C-SPAN once, and that will last me a lifetime. It was related to the DTV transition. HD could not have enhanced my viewing that day. Having the channel in MPEG4 SD could not have enhanced my viewing that day. It could have been YouTube quality and it would have worked fine for me.
Everybody has different tastes. Some people think that TCM-HD was a waste of bandwidth given that they either dislike old movies or they feel that TCM's lack of true HD content made it unworthy of being added. Others think my #2 most wanted channel now (TV Land HD) would be a waste of bandwidth given that they MOSTLY show older series. Not to mention that my #1 most wanted channel (CW HD-DNS) is probably discounted by most people since they probably have a CW feed included in their locals, and never watch it. I feel that EVERYBODY has a right to like and anticipate their channel... regardless of whether or not anybody feels it's a justified addition. I also feel that if a channel is one that DirecTV carries in SD, it should be deserving of an HD feed... (well, I can think of a couple of possible exceptions, but C-SPAN is not one of them).
That being said, I too would find C-SPAN to be a confusing addition. Given the limited bandwidth, and the fact that DirecTV is missing a great deal of channels whose programming would more greatly benefit from the upgrade to HD. This is not a personal preference thing either as I have very little to no interest in sports, but I feel that the content is greatly enhanced by the quality of the picture.
Regardless of what others think, we must continue to ANTICIPATE our favorites... to cable with what everyone else thinks!