I dont have a problem with the increase on the gear to help fund the site. Heck, I figured it was already being done.
Also, just to throw this out there..... I run a site with a message board that has a dedicated server. Our site is 100 percent funded by the users via donations and is add free(shameless plug http://www.ramsrule.com/theoriginalherd/dcboard.php
). Being a football board, I run a 1 month fund raiser every April since we get the most traffic during the draft month. We give no special treatment for the donators, and have actually banned several over the years. It'* worked really well for us and we normally take in at least double the cost of the yearly server fees.
I know you guys are dead set against taking donations, but I question if enough gear is sold per year to pay for everything. When it comes down to it, donations will get you over the hump and wont affect the atmosphere here, if done correctly.
Regardless of which way you go, good luck and let me know when we're going to do tshirts again.
1997 SE/SSE - SE w/interior converted to SSE by "1993 SLE"
on 11/26/2006 @ 136,000 miles
Mods- gutted air box, tan AL7'* with matching door panels, tan dash w/HUD, CONSOLE SHIFTER CONVERSION!!
, steering wheel radio controls with Pac-Swix, Panasonic head unit, Infinity Reference front and rears, Basslink 10" sub, Python 1400XP remote start/keyless entry, chrome T-stars, Angel Eyes fogs, cleared corners.... too much to mention here!