Streaming or downloading sounds like a bad case of 'look what we can do technically', and about as appealing to me as bathing in lava, it seems to be more of an attraction to 20-somethings and even younger. Since we're not all robots yet, I want the product in my hand for my player, please.
I'm not into streaming at present since I prefer to collect physical media since I own the media and am not being limited in my private use of that item by encoded streaming.
I suppose it depends on what motivates the individual to make a purchase. Many DVD "collectors" don't even have time to watch all the shows they buy, so downloading is going to hold less allure when you won't have something in your hands to hold. But if you just want to watch the show, when and wherever you desire, it really makes very little difference what format the media is in. I also collect vinyl records, and will be the first to admit that this is a separate and entirely different hobby that just listening to music. People do both, and should be free to choose the path they desire.
Well, as one "collector", I will question your "many collector" point. Perhaps that's correct, but I'm not in that category. I rotate my viewing with my DVD collection and as a result, I have very few sets on the shelf that I haven't begun viewing and zero DVD sets that are still unopened. As for streaming, I'm not up to date with the techincal info but correct me if this is incorrect here: If you purchase a streamed item, you can't burn that movie or show to the physical media of your choice. That's my understanding of current streaming encoding protocols. If that's true, that is a major reason why I'm not a proponent of streaming. If I buy something from a studio, I think that I should have the right to burn that item for my private collection. That way, if or when I decide to unsubscribe to Netflix/Amazon, or any provider's streaming service, I'll still have that series or movie available for re-viewing on my schedule and it won't be unavailable.
Similar experiences here too, for various Universal manufactured dvds. They're all across the board, with no rhyme or reason. (For instance). One of my Knight Rider season 3 disks, freezes on all on my stand alone dvd players. But it rips fine without any problems from my computer dvd drive. One of my Law and Order: Criminal Intent season 5 disks, freezes on all my stand alone dvd players and even the XBox 360. But it rips fine on my computer dvd drive. One of my Miami Vice season 2 disks, freezes on the computer dvd drive (whether watching or ripping). But it plays fine on the stand alone dvd players. (Similar story with one of my The A-Team season 4 disks). On one of my Baretta season 1 disks, it freezes with two episodes being literally unwatchable on all my stand alone dvd players and the computer dvd drive. But it plays almost fine on my XBox 360 console. On the XBox 360, it only freezes at around the dual-disk layer transition. (One can fast forward or rewind on the XBox 360 to get around the freeze point, and missing around 2 or 3 seconds of video). This was my third copy of Baretta season 1, after two previous exchanges from the store. It seems like it freezes at almost the same spot on disk 1. (Perhaps the store just got a bad batch, all with a very similar problem?) Then again, I only paid 9 dollars for the dvd set brand new (two weeks ago). Not going to complain too much about a dvd which I effectively paid 3 dollars for.
Your points bring up something that's always been stange to me, given a format that's been around since '97? There seems to be a considerable amount of inconsistancies in the format that I would have expected to have been debugged over the years. I've been fortunate with most of my studio purchases where they play without problems on my standalone player.
I think I completely missed the "boom years" for tv shows on dvd. I didn't pay much attention to the dvd market until recently, and wondered why the dvd market seemed so "sedated" these days (ie. very little excitement). Previously I had very little to no interest in dvds of movies and tv shows. Before 2010, I only had around 20 dvds and one tv show box set (The Pink Panther Classic Cartoon Collection). I only recently became interested in buying classic tv shows on dvd, within the last year or so . (I suppose going through a midlife crisis can do that ). But I noticed that many classic tv shows I wanted were no longer on the shelves at local brick & mortar stores like WalMart, Best Buy, etc ... (I remember back in the mid-2000's, the dvd sections at brick & mortar stores like WalMart, Best Buy, etc ... use to be huge in comparison to what they are today. Today they seem to be about half the size of what they once were). Eventually I found out that many classic tv show dvd sets were ending up in the bargain bins at local brick & mortar stores like: department stores, grocery stores, discount stores, and even a few gas stations (of all places). So over the last six months or so, I ended up going on a huge "binge" scavenging through the bargain bins and found many of the classic tv dvd sets I wanted for around $15 each (or less). (I was picking up a lot of cheesy action type tv shows I use to watch when I was a younger, such as: The A-Team, MacGyver, Miami Vice, Knight Rider, Dukes of Hazzard, Starsky & Hutch, etc ...). With streaming becoming more popular and dvds becoming less popular, at times I wonder if we'll ever see subsequent later dvd season sets which have not been released yet, such as for tv shows like: Simon & Simon, Hart to Hart, Silk Stalkings, Baretta, Charlie's Angels, etc ... Perhaps I have been lucky so far, that I have been able to find almost all the classic tv dvd sets I wanted at a low price, before they completely disappeared from the market. I'm sorta glad I didn't pay $40 or $50 (or more) per dvd set, back in the mid 2000's.
Sounds like you had a good plan. I was halfway on the money-saving timetable. Since I did get into the TV/DVD collector scene around '03, I did spend some more $$'s than I would have had I waited until recently but I rarely spent more than ~$30 per season excluding the split-season CBS sets. Streaming, well, we'll see how that goes with trends. There are several series that have been continued in the streaming market that aren't available on DVD and that's good for those that are set up and into streaming. There's not been a lot of the streaming titles that have persuaded me to get there yet.