I think people just might, there are a few examples of subscriptions for online content and magazines. If there is a good handful of professionals/guru's writing the content, I think people (other professionals) might want to subscribe. Although the trend is obviously going towards open source user-generated, peer-reviewed-content.
To illustrate this, the Flash OS vs. CS parallel:
Not that I have insight in the actual sales figures, but IFBIN
site) is a site that requires people to subscribe (although here's
Josh Dura's view on the IFBIN concept), as was the DevNet subscription for macromedia developers interesting because of access to additional resources. I don't think either have had such a large following as simple open source concepts such as OSFlash, however they are/ have been quite succesful among professional users, who probably have their company pay for the subscription.
I think downloading actual content, files, music or videos is acceptable, because people (the masses) understand that it costs money to create or distribute, however when basically user generated content is concerned .. I'm not too sure, especially when similar content will be freely available.
Would you pay for an opinion .. ?
As for your first question;
I've relied immensely on blogs, conference-streams (DLD
online coverage for example), magazines and books to get up to speed in putting mobile into context and perspective.
And for regular news I rely on the Metro, BBC news, guardian rss, nu.nl rss and online broadcasts/streams of the news to keep up to date on what's happening in the netherlands. I used to be subscribed to a newspaper back in holland (3 years ago). But I don't see any reason to do that anymore, nor do I have the time to read through all that plus the online sources...