my 2 cents
I download mainly from here and a torrent site (and check in to a couple of other download sites to see if there's anything i've missed...)
I have broadband atmo, but used to have crappy usb wireless internet, and capped downloads.
I prefer downloading individual books or small collections (ie up to 5) from file hosting sites. the reason being, i don't always have the money to pay for premium membership to get faster downloads. if someone uploads a 500mb file that is split into 3 rars, depending on what site they've uploaded to, it could take me up to an hour to download 3 files as a free user.
Torrents, i use for larger files (ie movies, tv, someone's 6000 book kindle collection...) because it's generally faster, and I like seeding (now that I have unlimited down/uploads).
Being able to download all 30 books by Fred Nerk from mobilism in one collection (ie 3 rars) is awesome, but i think it also hinders ppl who don't have disposable income. Rapidshare is awesome in that you can just keep downloading one after the other, with no waiting period, but they've also been cracking down on files lately (from what i've seen). Most other sites have waiting periods, or limits as to how much free users can download in a certain time period.
With regards to file quality (ie retail epub vs converted from mobi in calibre etc) is there anyway we could introduce a posting guideline where the poster says if it's a retail or conversion? I personally don't care, cos i'm getting the book for free!! but i know this matters to some people. that way, if it's an epub converted from a retail mobi, then there's scope for someone with a retail epub to upload that version to keep people happy.
Since really this is a service as far as quality, (granted though that as we catch up on releases they will be of better quality) you and I are limited to what the uploader has on hand which has been discussed in threads beforehand. As far as file sizes? What can we do about it? All it does is mean more time spent uploading. Your right though, filesharing sites are cracking down on the usage of their property via DCMA claims (thank MEGAUPLOAD for that). Plus, it seems you MIGHT be hinting the usage of say someone buying a server and using their server and bandwidth for hosting. There we are again with the DCMA claim. It's a thin line to toe as far as anything and everything goes. This site has an obligation only to the copyright holders when a claim is made (meaning if someone claims proprietary ownership then threads must be removed) . I mean honestly it can only be so much before a host decides to say enough is enough and then share your information with the authorities (dependent upon if the servers in question reside in the US) To me, this is a game of chance. Take what you can get, enjoy it, don't get picky, and buy the books when you can. Obviously when you stated how ecstatic you were about 6000 books on a torrent or 30 book collection on here seems your not so into the idea of purchasing a book cause you said so yourself a lot of us don't have the disposable income of others and that's right BUT would you rather pay 100 dollars or Euros or so for a year of hosting, or pay 9.99 -11.99 for a book? I mean honestly, do you really think your going to read 6000 books? I have 1750 and I know damn well it'll take me a lifetime to read all that and like you most of them are via torrent or mobilism but SOME of them are purchased so I do feel the pinch in the wallet. Your arguments are invalid and keep your 2 cents. Talking about conversions as well.... Feel like buying a book twice? I don't, considering the books are the same price on iTunes, B&N, Kobo, as they are on Amazon.