When I started grad school in 1993, DH and I decided to forgo cable because of the cost and the distraction. We haven't had it since and doing without has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.
With the exception of a 2 year period when we lived in Illinois and we were able to pick up ABC and NBC via the antenna, we've lived in areas where we can't even get local stations (or, we've never tried).
Yes, there is some excellent programming out there. But IMHO no television program can compare to a good book, a quality newspaper, a conversation over dinner, a long walk, just sitting on the sofa listening to a CD, or relaxing in complete silence. If I watch television from my hotel room when I travel, I am always astounded by the inanity and the noise, the violence, the stupidity that passes for journalism, so-called reality programming, talk shows. I've become a pretty harsh critic of the squawk box!
It's fascinating to me to see the different dynamics play out when my family gets together. At my dad's place or with any of my brothers, the men sit around the tv, watching whatever sports happens to be on. Doesn't matter the time of year or day, there is always SOME game SOMEWHERE. THe women hang out in the kitchen or on the patio.
When everyone congregates chez nous, there is no option but to talk together. IMAGINE! We even do really crazy things like play Pictionary or Taboo or card games.
I guarantee you, after a period of adjustment you will wonder WHY you ever lived with it in the first place!!
If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in! Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.