"Particularly with DVDs, my shelf is nothing but a reminder of how much money I´ve wasted"
Actually.....actually, this is aload of tosh, the DVD's on your bookshelf are an example of unrealised assets, they have value even after being watched. This is the biggest mistake people make when comparing physical media to digital media. I, for instance, have a $20,000+ book collection, its been valued, its insured, I can even borrow money against it. Physical media has a value apart from its entertainement value. Try popping into your insurance agent with a Kindle full of exactly the same books and ask them to insure it for $20,000, oh, expect laughter.
Strangely enough, since my books have all been purchased from second hand shops and dealers it is quite likely that my collection didn't cost much more than the equivelant Kindle tied books. But there's more, I can leave my books to a relative in my will, I can sell them if I desire and not be breaching any usage agreements, and, as the guy on TV says, there's even more! My collection, as digital media becomes more pervasive, will actually increase in value, your digital collection, however, is worth exactly what it was worth when you purchased it, and that's not $2.99 or whatever, its exactly $0, because its not a realisable asset.
This is the business plan of large media copmpanies, to get people to pay for something that is worth nothing after the purchase, you can't sell it, sure they can give it away with the Kindle, but that's exactly what it is worth, nothing, you can't sell a Kindle and charge for the Kindle and the value of the books in it, nobody would buy it. So if you do have a shelf full of DVD's and lament buying them, realise their worth by selling, a mint condition second hand DVD is worth almost as much as a new one, and some are in fact worth many times the value of the exact same DVD re-released.
To me this is the biggest issue with digital media, and why I never pay for digital media. Everything you buy has a value. Even transient things like food actually have a value after they have been consumed, yes it may appear to be a hard one to call but its true. The value of food is that it enables one to live and work and earn money, if you spend $10 on food for the day the value of that food is reflected in your activities of the day. You buy a newspaper (physical), it can be used to light a fire, a realised asset, can be recycled to make cardboard, a realised asset etc. But the media companies are inventing a new paradigm, they are selling something thats worth nothing, how can you possibly get a better business model than that?
Now the inevitable argument is that is indeed worth something due to the fact that an artists had to record it, the studios had to spend time to make it worth listening to (often a lot of time and effort at this stage), the distribution channels have to be maintained. But they are all irrelevent to the value of the end media. The previous model of physical media worked well because all that effort by artist, studio, distributor etc came out as an asset worth buying, an asset that retained and even appreciated in its value, but now we have all these people putting a huge effort in producing something that, to the end purchaser, is worth exactly $0, currently the only value in digital media is contained in the licence to distribute it.
My personal idea is that purchasing a piece of digital media should give one a perpetual license to that particular piece of media, but not just an imaginary license, an actual, well maybe not physical, but solid license. So the media companies have a license to distribute, I have a licence to use it in whatever form I choose. I could make a personal copy on CD, copy it to my mp3 player, if it's a book put it on a ebook player of my choice, if I need a new ebook player and it doesn't accept the format of the old one then I can get a copy of that book from wherever I like (as long as I don't steal physicall media, thats a crime) or even print it out on paper. Embedded in that license would be the right to sell that license to another person or leave that license to a relative in my will. The fact is, until digital media becomes as valuable to the end user as physical media the business model is a broken business model.
And yes, to avoid the inevitable, "but if you lose a physical book you don't have the right to walk into a shop and walk out without paying", that's true, but I am insured, I take care of my books, but accident are inevitable, you could lose your kindle, and while many ebook distributors allow you to redownload books you have already paid for, what happens if the distributor goes bust, or closes down, or changes DRM type. We all remember the MLB.com fiasco right? How about MSNmusic, Yahoo! Music Store. I could go on with examples but there's no point, the point is that you can pay for music, listen to it for years, and suddenly find you can no longer listen to it due to the distribution service shutting down. At least with physical media the loss of that asset is entirely in your hands, the loss of digital media, on the other hand, isn't.
With a perpetual license you could just download that book/song/movie again, even get a friend to give you a copy, and that would be legal because you have a license for it (assuming he also has a license, if he doesn't then your action in getting would still be legal, his action in giving it wouldn't). In the end digital media ends up with a value to the end user and people pirate less because they now have a valuable item, (the license, not the media, the media is stil worth $0)