I would happily pay the £3 for a year, even i won't notice that leaving my account and i am a tight arse Scot! Psychologically £3 is a lot easier to hand over than £10 even though i think most of us could still afford it. Is the amount suggested enough to cover costs easily or do we realistically need to give more to keep it going?
I think that most people who use this forum are quite into the scene and therefore will come back again and again so most would pay the dues especially if they are that low and the quailty of info and high end shit talking, banter and bad jokes stays as high. I like the idea of maybe allowing 10 posts for free before having to subscribe as there is nothing more frustrating than finding a good forum but having to pay straight away for something you may nevere use again.
As far as perks go i think it should be avoided if possible. My main reason for not wanting competition prizes is that i feel the impartiality and the honest advice/reviews that we currently get would be compromised by having to please 'sponsors'. My main point of reference for this was an MTB magazine called Dirt which when it first came out was the best biking mag on the market by a mile but as it became glossier and bigger some of the glowing reviews and coverage given to its preferred companies seemed pretty far away from the truth and took the shine of what was originally a breath of fresh air. I kind of feel the same about the discount at certain shops/companies for the same reasons (although it might take BLB prices down closer to what they should be!)
The same goes for having a subscriber only section, i think the whole point of the site is that anyone can join in easily whether they know nothing and have a question to ask or know lots and could make a positive contribution. It would be a shame if for example the rides section moved to subscriber only and folk who are just getting into riding could be excluded from meeting new people by not knowing what is going on. There is already quite a bit of Oldie Vs Newbie chat which goes on and i think this would make that worse.
Either way sorry if this repeats some old stuff but could not quite handle reading all 9 pages and if i log on tomorrow and am asked for £3 then i will happily put my money where my mouth is but otherwise i will carry on using and enjoying this fine forum.