Eric Rice has a post about things afoot in Second Life that have user/customers upset. Raising the prices is a serious one of those, but not the only one. In the post, he posits that user dissatisfaction coupled with the techno-alpha-geek makeup of people who have been early adopters might push the creation of an open source alternative sooner rather than later. A big chunk of my criticism and disinterest in the joint is mitigated if one can easily set up their own server and/or move their work out of own server and into another.
Eric talks a lot about people doing real work and making money in SL, but I’m not spending lots of my time building anything in a system where it is locked up, I can’t take it out and am at their mercy on rate hikes and such. To me, portability of what you build is the big stopper. I don’t want to spent 1000 hours making a scale copy of the Sears Tower or whatever only to have Linden shut it down one day without warning. When you are heavily invested in something like this fundamentally outside of your control, you are always at risk for that eventuality.