It's not the $12 that's eating us, it's the 'promises' MO has been telling us - less ads, faster connection, more content, etc.
They have not changed at all since going subscription based. True, many websites have gone out of business, mainly due to the B2B model that simply didn't generate the $$$ the fat cats were hoping for.
MO is an independent site funded by ad hogs and independent sites rarely survive without cash flow from selling ads or outside funding. Had MO been part of a parent company that has the capitol to sustain a site, they would be much better and generate much better ROI (return on investment) numbers than small-time shops buying ad space on MO.
The reason amasuperbike.com and motorcyclenews.com as well as cyclenews.com perform much better than MO is because they have a parent company that generates capitol in the form of print paper to sustain a free site. Also, they have what readers ARE looking for as well as what they WANT. MO likes to tell stories they see fit and incite controversy for personal pleasure - making it very unattractive to lucrative funding from large companies or manufacturers.
The manufacturers DON'T give them the bikes, they BORROW from dealers WITHOUT manufacturer's endorsements...