Of course, any time the subject comes up, you get a bunch of people that start going on about how it's not worth it blah blah blah. They can't just not join, they have to make a case for why they shouldn't. That's annoying.
Getting people to buy something that doesn't really get them anything but the feeling that they're lending their support is a tricky value proposition. Paid members get a card in the mail, no ads on the site, and that's pretty much it. Over a thousand people since 2001 have felt there was value in this, but who knows how long that will last.
Personally, I've spent money on two other sites. They had competitors, some of which were free, but both had compelling enough content to get me to pay up. I don't pretend that same value proposition is a slam dunk for CoasterBuzz. The really weird thing is that the majority of club members aren't even the types that post in the forums. I guess they find value in being a part of something, so they're sold on the feeling. That's the motivation really to buy most things.
One common objection is that people don't like the idea that I can do this for a living. That's weird, because I know on the photography sites I frequent, the owners are congratulated for being able to do that. Some people in the coaster enthusiast community find this to be outright offensive.
The younger folks are the worst, but this is a generation that doesn't see a problem with stealing music of software either. I wonder what will happen when they get to the adult world, where they have to buy cars, houses, diapers and pay taxes. I'm not saying they're all bad (I do coach them, after all), but they do have a different value system.
I'm very lucky, because I'm getting an opportunity to figure out what I want to do professionally. I'm partially free of the financial impact of this decision because the sites generate just enough revenue to get by. I wouldn't say it's comfortable, but we aren't starving yet. It'll certainly be a little easier when the book royalties start coming in, or I figure out The Next Big Thing.