I tossed and turned last night, thinking further about this TiVo rumor, imagining a nightmarish future where I come home from work and can only watch what's actually being broadcast, the horror! So, I've come up with a fairly simple solution: network the TiVos and a build a Napster-eque app (without a centralized server) so people can browse and download other programs. I'm imagining our TiVos will still record, we'll just need to program them, like VCRs. So you get the Sopranos, I'll get the Simpsons, and we'll trade, ok?
Of course, these files are going to be pretty big, so the client will need to be fairly advanced, and allow for scheduling. I'll open up my TiVo for uploads at a certain time, then close it off and proceed with my downloads, to prevent multiple transfers from occurring at the same time. Of course, to join this post-subscription TiVo network, you'll need to have a fast connection, and agree to have your TiVo online when someone's scheduled a download with you.
What do you think? Will it work? Are you a Linux geek? Maybe you could build this so we'd be ready to go if/when TiVo goes kaput.