Re: I stopped paying the TV License in 2008 and haven't watch TV since.
I stopped, for many years.
It didn't really make a difference. I still watched the content I like, because I have it all on DVD anyway. You could say I was paying or it twice before I stopped - once to have the licence, once to buy the disks.
In terms of "new" content, there's not a lot that I watch and - sorry - not a lot of it funded by the TV licence. Some, I grant you, but not a lot. And what is is often stuff that's been running for years and has just been carried on. The new Attenborough's are on Eden (UKTV-owned, so not tax-payer funded), and tend towards dumbing down and 3D junk nowadays. Things like QI - well, they're great but it's not really multiply-watchable for any particular episode (which, despite being a big fan, means I have only one of the DVD's). I actually get more value out of an occasional "The Sky At Night" than I do 99% of the prime-time stuff.
When I had no licence? I didn't miss much. I used iPlayer (not watching live!), 4oD, etc. and caught basically everything new of what I wanted (and more conveniently, rather than scheduling my life around the TV schedule!). The rest I had on DVD. Missing out on the new shows? Not a big deal, I was tired of watching dross over and over and over again under the banner of "New Comedy" (in the last, what five-six years, the new shows I watch, that I would actually miss, can be summarised as "The Big Bang Theory" and "Not Going Out" - pretty much everything else I could do without and not even care).
In the end, I got a licence again. Not for the content (I had everything I wanted) but because I had a cable package that was cheaper than phone and Internet combined, so TV came "for free" and the licence fee just about covers the "late at night, can't go out, don't want to do things, let's flick" moments. I'd happily do without it again, it's not that big a deal either way. If I was poor, it would be one of the first things to go.
My girlfriend is Italian, though, and I'm trying to see if we can get some Italian TV (they *don't* have decent things like iPlayer, etc. so she misses hearing her own language), so I would need a licence for doing that anyway.
At points in my life I thought I would never do without it. At others I wondered why the hell I ever bought one. On average, I would always have been able to take it or leave it. Since iPlayer came along, I can definitely do without it but have one for convenience of not having to worry "Can I watch Comic Relief / Children in Need now or do I have to wait until it's not being broadcast?". (But, to be honest, even those examples are spiralling into dross nowadays and are full of people I don't even know or honestly couldn't care less about).
In terms of funding the content I receive? Actually, I don't think that's a big deal. Good stuff will find a way out into the market through someone. Hell, I noticed that the BBC picked up Dan Patterson, and even Graham Norton, and basically the whole formats of several of their previous shows with different names/games/faces. The same could easily happen the other way around if the BBC weren't there. David Attenborough's been pushed out to the commercial arm, etc.
I don't think that the BBC nor the licence fee are that wonderful, or even necessary. They survive mainly through convenience, legality, and the cost of comparable services.