Update response from DTV: all told for an upgrade to Genie (full price), SWM, Whole Home,client boxes, installation charge will cost me an out of pocket outlay of $990. No typo, you read that right. So much for long time loyalty. Told them forget it.
Unheard of. Especially if your history with DirecTV is as you originally stated. Even when I updated to HD 2 years ago I paid out of pocket $150 or so -- new dish, 2 hr24 DVRs, 1 h24 receiver, installation, cck, whole home. I think full price would have been $550 or so with installation. So I got a substantial discount with hardly a push from me on cost.
I believe the HR34 is $299 now (was $399) and the clients are $99. Installation is normally $49 and would include swm, dish, wiring.
How many clients did you order? I guess if you asked for 5 + genie + install, full price would come out to $850. Still, I can't imagine that you couldn't get genie + install for much much less. I don't know how much they'd help on 5 additional clients -- 1 or 2 I'm sure they would throw some credit your way, but maybe not for 4 or 5.
Edit: missed your post where you mentioned current equipment. Updated my post to reflect.