When I finally looked at how much we paid for the Tivo, it was less than the $199.99 list price at Best Buy. We paid $188.99 after tax. So with the $150 mail-in rebate and the $38.85 towards service from the Best Buy gift card we were down to 14c but we'll eventually get $1.88 back via Citi Dividend rebate.
So all netted out, we actually *made* $1.74
And it looks like Best Buy and Tivo are running the same deal through Saturday so this is a great time to snag a 40-hr model if you've been wanting one. Do note that Tivo now requires either a year committment if you pay monthly or you still have the option of purchasing a lifetime service (for the machine) at $299.
We actually signed up for the lifetime (the Best Buy gift card technically applies to this cost or 3 months of monthly service) since we figure we'll own this tivo for more than 2 years (we owned the series 1 for at least four years). If things change, tivos with lifetime service have a high resale value on ebay, so it felt like the right choice.
It did register a blip in my "utilities" column in October (what? you dont think tivo service is a utility?) but luckily I have money to cover it without even going near Save-O-Meter money. So now we can also reduce our monthly expenses by $12.95.
Interestingly, Tivo is getting competitive with it's subscription service...if you have Tivo and are paying monthly at $12.95, it's worth a call to see if they will lower it to the $6.95 "2nd tivo" price. This happened to a co-worker of mine when he called to cancel because he got a PVR through his cable company.