It's not exactly Sophie's Choice, but if you're a pretty casual Netflix user like I am, you're going to have to decide which is more crucial: streaming movies or watching them on DVDs and Blu-rays.
The new cheap plans, as hinted at before, put unlimited streaming movies on one side (no DVDs!), unlimited DVD rentals on the other (no streaming!) and you smack dab in the middle.
The new entryway to Netflix: You can pay 8 bucks for unlimited streaming, 8 bucks for unlimited DVDs (one out at a time, +$2 for Blu-ray) or 10 bucks for unlimited DVDs (two out a time, +$2 for Blu-ray). But no matter how you shake them up, they don't overlap. There's no more sneaking away feeling like you scored a deal with both unlimited streaming and DVD options.
Which brings us to my situation. I currently have a cheap-ish $12 plan that gives me unlimited streaming and 1 Blu-ray movie out at a time. I don't actively use that 1 Blu-ray movie rental because I'm lazy and I like choices (I imagine some of you are like me) but I like having it around as an option just in case. In Netflix's new pricing plans, that same plan is going to cost $18. I'm not sure if I can justify paying 50% more for a just-in-case Blu-ray rental. I'll probably have to go streaming only.
As for more active Netflix users who have been juggling multiple Blu-rays and unlimited streaming, you guys are getting a bit of a price hike too. Check the image (click to embiggen) to see what your new options are. I think 2 Blu-rays out a time with unlimited streaming for $23 seems to be the sweet spot. The new membership prices will start on September 1, 2011 for current users but are effective immediately for new customers. [Netflix]
Update: We contacted Netflix to see if Netflix would grandfather customers with older plans and they responded:
Netflix members will pay $7.99 for each plan starting Sept. 1.
Which I guess is to say you won't be grandfathered in.