I grew addicted to the Journal over a summer at b-school, and got the student subscription for my final year. I didn't renew the subscription, and then kinda waited to see if after the controversial acquisition they'd drop subscription on the site as Murdoch had hinted.
They didn't; and so a few weeks ago after getting only the first paragraph of an article I really wanted to finish, I cracked and subscribed. I decided not to get the paper delivered though (just the online subscription.) The idea of more paper to get rid of around the house is scary
I'm mildly annoyed that I had to spend some money to do it, but I'm really, really glad that clearly the WSJ has decided to stick with the subscription/paid-for model.
I've said this before, but I do think that the whole "Content wants to be free" mantra and the idea of building distribution believing advertising can be used to monetize it later isn't always the right thing to do.
Its about figuring out (or guessing at!) the demand curve and deciding the what the right price point it is; it may not always be zero.
Sometimes it is...ok often it is...but not always.:)