I have been a DirecTV customer since 1998 and continue to feel it is a superior choice to cable.
The upsides are many--superior quality video and audio--including Dolby Digital encoding on several movie channels; an excellent channel selection including local channels; tons of pay-per-view options including NFL, NBA, NBA, NHL, MLB, plus college sports packages from ESPN; DirecTV's introduction of audio channels from satellite radio network XM; regular concert events free of charge on DirecTV's Freeview series; HD reception and several channels of programming available; and the strategic partnership with TiVo to provide DVR service with a lot of cool extras.
The downsides: dish position can create reception challenges; no local service presence (although DirecTV does have a dedicated service team that does excellent work); less programming options than I would like.
I'm sure Dish Network is also a fine service, but I have no experience with them. I would choose satellite over cable every single time. Good hunting!