Philip Linden: Regarding the issue of whether, overall, we are charging too much. I think a reasonable comparison to make is what it costs to pay for servers that are similar to ours, if purchased from a hosting company – like rackspace, etc. The present rates we are charging for simulators are less that the rates you would pay if you just got a blank machine from a hosting company. So you could argue that SL is pretty cheap in that sense.
Sorry, what? You pay 199 US$ for the quarter of a hosted machine in the US? I don’t think so. I am quite sure you can get better deals, and if not, host your damn machines outside the US. I can get a high-end server (not shared with anybody!) with unlimited transfer, fully managed, for 150 EUR per month in Europe without problems, and we usually aren’t the people with the cheap prices …
And setup fees for those machines are more along the lines of one monthly payment, not along the lines of 6 (again, a non-shared machine – multiply the LL prices by 4 to get what they really want to see for their market-priced dedicated server!). Oh, there might be some providers who require you to sign up for a longer base time – like half a year or a full year. That would be something that’s ok for LL, too – I would prefer shorter minimum rental times, but well, I could live with that. But selling me a 50% price hike as needed, because you are too cheap in comparison with others, when the explicit sample you give (dedicated hosting) is way cheaper, that’s silly.
I’m not the only one who is a bit stumped by this weird argumentation.