I too recently switched from DirecTV to Dish after being a customer for nearly 10 years.
Like you, I grew accustomed to the TiVo way do viewing TV. However, I realized during my initial research that I would have to change my way of "thinikng" when it came to deciding what and where I wanted my new Dish HD DVR.
Originally, with DirecTV, I had two TiVos - one DirecTV HDTiVo, and one DirecTV Tivo, each setup in different rooms. The kids had one for themselves, whie I had the other (I will let you guess which TiVo I had!!)
When moving to Dish - please remember this; Dish has a different way of thinking when it comes to multi-room setups. Whereas each DVR and/or HD DVR has dual tuners (really three since a DISH DVR can record two DISH channels while also recording an antenna channel), DISH will approach your setup situation based on a SHARING basis, unless you direct them otherwise.
Since I was used to my two TVs having seperate TiVos, DISH's setup would not have been good for me. Since the DISH DVR (HD or otherwise) has dual tuners, DISH will approach your setup as allowing more than one TV to share the tuners.
As such, One HD DVR will technically run two TVs independently, however they are both sharing each of the two tuners. As I mentioned before, this would not have been good for me. If the children were watching one stations (usually Boomerang) and the wife was watching the other tv (usually Food Network), I would be stuck either watching one of those two stations, of forcing a channel change (you ever seen a child mad after you turned of their Boomerang cartoon - or worse, a wife who you turned off her Food Network channel - - not pretty!!).
So, I DIRECTED DISH to install TWO DVRs, one each in the two rooms. Yes, they wanted to explain to me how I would only need one unit, and yes they charge me for the leaseof the other DVR, but it is owrth the extra money in the long run. Now, each tv can record two programs, plus one antenna, if necessary. Everyone is happy.
As far as programming goes, I would choose the HD Gold if you are used to having the DirecTV Total Choice (Plus). The HD Gold is the only package (outside of Platinum) hat carries the same channels as Total Choice Plus. Do a side to side comparison to ensure that your channels are covered in any DISH package you choose. As an example, the lower priced DirecTV package I had carried Boomerang (notice how I always come back to this channel), whereas DISH's lower or comperably priced package did not carry this channel. So, I had to "upgrade" to the HD Gold. Halmark was also an issue (for what it is worth).
I have notice a slight degredation in the picture quality with DISH. It seems that I have far more pixilation issues than I have every had with DirecTV. I used to never loose a picture except in a large thunderstorm.
I can not advise you about the locals - the DISH represenative can assist you there.
Finally, you may want to ask the forum members for a customer referal code. This will save you money in the install/activation. Do a research here - you will understand what I mean.
Hope this two cents worth helps.