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For what it's worth, there were far more stories of TiVo's demise when I bought mine over 5 years ago. If I had gone with monthly, I would have paid $780.80 so far in service fees. However, I went with lifetime for $199. Current resale value of my lifetime service on ebay is $150 to $200 making my total service cost for five and half years around $0 to $50 - a $730 to $780 price difference.

TiVo's original competitor, ReplayTV has gone out of business twice but was picked up each time by another company who continued the service. I think people who choose to go monthly out of concern for TiVo's health are paying way too much money for a feeling of security but if you need that feeling, go for it.
 
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