There's a difference between paying your fair share and extortion
It's all true and fair that Photobucket had a right to expect some payment for something they have been bearing for free for over 10 years. So how about they charge what it is actually worth? A full-on web site hosted by a professional service wouldn't cost more than $100/year, and you could host your photos on it and link them to forum posts to your heart's content. Photobucket demands $400 for this service?
Why? Because they know that millions of their free customer have embedded links to those photos far and wide that will not work anymore. Even if you take all your photos elsewhere, you still have to edit all those posts you have made for years, and in many cases, you won't be able to edit a post that old because some forums don't allow that.
Photobucket is EXPLOITING that fact by demanding an exorbitant fee. If they wanted people to pay up finally, they could easily have initiated the plan with a series of warnings and a fair price for the service based on the level of your usage. People with 2GB free accounts are not storing enough, nor generating enough hit traffic, to warrant a $400/yr charge.
Whining freetards? Hardly. They are people who know when they are being fleeced. Just because it was free before doesn't give Photobucket the right to massively overcharge because they know they are the only place people can use if they want their old online posts to work.
As for me... I AM one of those people mad enough to edit all my old posts. So I am making liberal use of forum search features to find all my linked images based on the directory strings in the filenames that have "photobucket" in them, and then replacing those links with the new photo locations (where I have already moved my photos). I will rehost all my photos to my own website (for which I only pay $100/yr thank you very much).
Photobucket will be gone in a year. Nobody who is willing to pay for their service would choose $400/yr over full web hosting for $100/yr. And anyone who wants a free service certainly won't pay $400/yr.
What selfish idiots. If they had only warned us and asked for some reasonable charge, even $50/year, they would have turned a mass of freeloaders into low-end paying customers and generated revenue. Now, they will generate nothing but their own demise.