Well, Frogboy did say that the cost of a subscription could go up to around $30 USD, but if that's matched with more content, such as the unlimited use of skins that most casual users have to pay for on an individual basis, then I'd say that's fine.
Brad (may I call you Brad?
) and Stardock seem to be working towards a clearer delination between their different types of customer. This breakdown seems clear and logical:
1) The Casual Customer - Gets MyColors pre-bundled on their PC or finds it through a non-technology source (such as a sports website). He or she will likely look through the different MyColors themes available and purchase one or two that they will stick with for a long time, perhaps to show their love for a couple of teams or an exotic automobile. This type of customer doesn't know a whole lot about the nuts and bolts of computing and is just happy to have a desktop environment that they enjoy seeing and using.
2) The Casual-Plus Customer - This type has an idea of how they want their computing environment to look, and is dissatisfied with the basic MyColors themes. They'll purchase Object Desktop, but are unlikely to buy a Wincustomize subscription, as once they find a look they like, they'll stick with it.
3) The Skin Fan - These are the folks like most of us posting here. They like the idea of making their computer look different, perhaps to fit with different moods, and enjoy the cleverness of different gadgets and gimmicks. They're best served with Object Desktop and a Wincustomize subsription, so they can continue to try out all sorts of different features.
4) The Power User - This type of user wants their computing experience to be uniquely tailored to themselves, right down to modifying how they interact with Windows itself. These are the types that need Object Desktop Ultimate and a Wincustomize subscription so they can continually fine-tune every single aspect of Windows. They're unlikely to ever reach the Nirvana of a "perfect computing experience," but this at least gives them the tools to indulge in their love.
5) The Skinner - The rarest of the rare, these are the people who have the talent, inclination, and discipline to design entire new themes from scratch. Note that most of us who dabble in skinning actually fall into categories 3 and 4 - we'll make one or two, or a dozen, specific wallpapers, icons, docks, or the like, but a full Windowsblind or even a suite/theme is far beyond our capabilities and inclinations. The true skinners need the full gamut of tools and a subscription, but these are the folks that Stardock wants to court, because today's fan skinner is tomorrow's employee, especially if they can produce good-looking, creative, and functional environments on a decent time schedule.
Note that I didn't include the "freeloaders," those who just use a freebie program or two and never buy a subscription. These folks aren't wrong, they just might not like what Stardock has to offer or not have a lot of available cash. However, they aren't technically customers, as they haven't paid for anything. It's very cool that Stardock allows certain of their programs to work indefinitely for the folks who just want a little something extra.
Or am I completely off-base here?