As a former Philadelphia, PA area person, I had to laugh about this Ars Technica article about Comcast.
When I lived in the area for eight years, they were likely the most hated company in all of Philly. Their TV service was poor, and their customer service was hateful and nasty. If you had a problem, it was only your problem. They didn't seem to fix anything.
I was so lucky to live outside the city and twice used Suburban Cable, and then, American Cablecom, from the Washington, DC area, was at one apartment complex. They had a 28 day fix clause in their contract and they would fix things on day 28, but they were still better than Comcast.
When I was in Florida, there was some small cable company and we were all wishing that Time-Warner Cable would take over. When they did, they played games with us. Several years later, having my own house, Time-Warner switched many locations with BrightHouse Networks. Unfortunately, they kept their game-playing employees.
I've had DirecTV (or however they write it now) since 2008 and I'm pleased. I'm still concerned about SBC/The New AT&T buying the company, but they can't hurt it totally, can they?
Comcast sends me a flyer weekly, but I don't want to deal with them. My adoptive mum did, and she got no satisfaction dealing with them. The problem was supposedly with her TV set. When she switched to their box, due to digital upgrades, she not only got to pay more, but changing channels took many minutes for the actual change to occur. Eventually, they replaced the remote several times, then the box, and then, they discontinued service. The local people were pleasant at the end, but the people on the toll-free number were so awful that I would never consider having service with Comcast.
I'm just as thrilled with the way Dish Network treated her, hanging up on her regularly. We learned at the end that the installer put up satellite dish without a clear view of the satellite. Apparently, the company didn't do any quality inspections for two years. They were concerned about the issue just before she died.
Update 2015.04.28: They're not merging/buying Time-Warner Cable, since they learned that the government was against it.