Now this is a subject for me!
I rarely ever turn on my cable box. There are lots of other ways to watch stuff. The hard part is just changing your habit. Can you imagine changing your TV viewing habits from "What's on right now that I want to watch" to "Just exactly what do I want to spend the next two hours watching?" It is a bit different. You folks with DVR's know what I'm talking about.
You get to decide what to watch, not them.
Anyway, here's my setup.
The KEY to making it all work is the program XBMC for windows (X-Box Media Center)
It's an open source Media center program. There are many flavors out there. Linux, X-box, Windows and others.
What it does is put all of those different sources into one beautiful interface.
For example: For Hulu I simply select Hulu from my menu and then search or browse for whatever I want to see. It then plays the show and automatically takes out the commercials. I can add a show to "Favorites" so I don't have to search it next time.
Same thing with Youtube.
Or, I can browse my extensive movie collection complete with full IMDB write ups and cast with show specific artwork as backgrounds.
Or, I can browse my large TV show collection with episode descriptions and everything.
Unfortunately, the only thing XBMC doesn't do is Netflix... but they're working on it! I can sill play it on the Web viewer onto my TV or use my Wii.
How to get shows?
I use Usenet to download anything I'm interested in. It takes a bit of work... maybe an hour every 3 days or so to manage the downloads.
The only thing really missing is live TV like Football... or Baseball... but I hear they play that at bars... I guess I have to get out of the house every once in a while! :D
Seriously though, I have noticed that the biggest difference is in the way you decide what to watch. It is a bit disorienting.
Something like: "Do I watch another episode of True Blood Season 1, or should I watch last nights episode of CSI?" Since you are not limited to just what is currently on at the moment your choices become a lot harder.
Look into the XBMC.org program, Get a good video card with HDMI out and start thinking about dropping that overpriced Cable/Dish TV!!! You'll be glad you did!