For most of us, this is really a moot discussion.
The only way for any of us to prove whether or not Dish or DirecTV looks better... would be to have both and have the same HDTV model side-by-side so that we could do a direct comparison of channels carried by both providers.
Based on everything said... IF you believe the metrics about 1440 instead of 1920... and I'm not saying I doubt those, I'm just saying *I* have no way to measure that and you will not find anyone from Dish who will tell you they are sending 1440x1080 instead of 1920x1080... but accepting that as a possible fact for a moment... Nobody has suggested that Dish does anything to the SD or to the 720p broadcasts... so we are left with the 1080i channels as possibly being better on DirecTV.
Without a side-by-side comparison, I couldn't say.
What I can say...
2. I have been a Dish customer long enough that I do believe their HD was better than it is now. I can't say *why* that is... or how much is my own imagination vs the 1440/1920 thing... but I do remember the picture being even better in the early HD days with Dish.
So... I can't imagine DirecTV looking SO much better than Dish to be worth switching... when I'm happy with most of the rest of what I get with Dish. IF I was a DirecTV customer, I would likely have the same answer... because I'm not prone to switch on a whim. It is as much laziness and love for status quo as it is any sense of loyalty, though.
As for your Number 2 , Fact is Dish down rezzes its HD. My guess so they can cram more HD on their transponders! Charlie always looking to save a buck while trying to keep up with Directv!
As for your last Paragraph. I agree !