I said that too. But Charter has made a dramatic turnaround in my neck of the woods thanks to SDV. They added about 60 HD channels in just a few months and now have more than satellite and better PQ. I get 12-18Mbps data rates on MPEG4, which is better than I had with DirecTV. And I can use my own DVR, saving a ton of money. Since I went back to cable, my bill has dropped by about $50/month and will stay that way for 2 years. I realize they'll gouge me after that, but by then I can give satellite another look, if they ever catch up on HD content.
Good luck. I will never go back to Charter for my TV. Horrible customer service and their price and HD selection can't match DirecTV. I wish I had another way to get high speed internet in my area, or I would not have Charter at all.
As for service, that's changed dramatically too. They have a great online presence like Dish (I wish DirecTV would catch up in that regard as well). I often get a response within a couple of hours and service appointments right away.
Bottom line is, while I enjoyed satellite for many years back when they had the best service on the market, times have changed, and cable is a much better deal than it used to be (depending on your location of course).
So bravo to the OP for having the guts to make a change and not just accept DirecTV's empty promises (24-month free HD fiasco). If more of us did the same, DirecTV would have to step up their game. As it stands now, they can do whatever they want and most people just accept it.