So, while the landscape today includes a diverse collection of local > and national ISP's with a range of services and cost options, the > future will be dialup at $10-15/month or Comcast or Verizon/MSN at > ~$50/mo. No more local businesses, no more local customer service, no > choice of services.
For some of us, the current landscape does not include that "diverse collection", and does not even include the more limited choice you describe as the gloomy future. It includes ONLY dialup.
If the so-called "independent" ISPs want to be truly independent, and not dependent on infrastructure owned by evil conglomerates, they can provide broadband to those of us who would be happy with even a single choice of broadband provider.