I paid $12/year for memberships at KMart a long time ago, clearanced because some of the coupons had expired in the package. They still had good coupons for a Billiards game and Live headsets.
Still, the bigger picture is that Sony, IIRC, doesn't restrict publishers from charging for their servers, so you'll see overpriced MMORPGs showing up on PS3, not on XBL, which is a shame. I might play somehting like that if I didn't have to pay anything beyond my XBL Gold Another nice benefit of XBL is the availablity of HD content from Netflix. I have a 3/mo plan, but we find ourselves watching the streaming content more and more.
As for those syaing "PC content has been free" - what are you smoking? Sure some of it is free, but the most popular stuff isn't - namely WoW. On top of paying a monthly fee (What is it, $10/mo? i.e. $120/year - 4 times what XBL costs?) - you are also locked into a single game. With XB, ALL of my online gaming is covered by that one fee.