Re: A bit like leeches
"What I should pay for is an unmetered service at say 100 Meg."
Actually, here is a point - the 'unmetered' part. People in the US, however much they complain about speed, take download quantities for granted. In Australia, we have had limits since day dot.
One might argue that download limits are not the same thing as available bandwidth and thus it costs a carrier no more for you to download 1TB than it does for you to download 1MB. This may indeed be strictly true but the missing bit is that people expect to be able to download that TB at a decent rate and that is where the problem comes in.
You see, what download limits achieve is to limit how frequently people are downloading, which limits the amount of concurrent use in the network, which limits the bandwidth being used at any one time, which increases the speed for everyone.
That's a generalisation to be sure but then that's exactly the point - it's something that works in aggregate.
If you have 100GB per month, you may not necessarily spend an entire weekend streaming HD video from Netflix, whereas someone on an unlimited plan has no reason not to do that every weekend - social life not withstanding. Likewise they will torrent files (legally or illegally) and be quite comfortable running backups every day (while they're at work) of their home PCs to a cloud-based backup service.
All this is wonderful for the user but the more subscribers doing this, the less bandwidth is available for everyone, including those who just watch a movie now and again.
Perhaps it is just a cultural difference based on our historical experiences, but I have no problem with the concept of metered downloads and in fact I think it's a relatively fair way to structure things.
The idea - in theory at least - is that the higher the volume of data you download, the longer you are going to be consuming the (limited) bandwidth and thus the more of an impact your will have on the speed achievable for everyone. To accommodate that while keeping speed constant requires more capacity, so the extra money from your larger plan going to the periodic upgrades to make sure capacity is keeping up with demand.
Of course, that's naive but it's not completely ridiculous. Until recently in Australia, we had a truly excellent ISP: Internode. They were always my no.1 recommendation for personal users because they were actually a little more expensive than many others but they really did re-invest that money back into their network and so we found that overall experience with them was noticeably better than with most other ISPs.
Now, if you are really paying the proper cost for a 0-contention line then that is another matter because you should be able to get that speed 24/7 regardless of what anyone else is doing, but the vast majority of residential services simply don't work like that and are much cheaper as a result.