I went ahead and bought a permanent account (on sale for a short time for $150). I almost didn't, because I was so disturbed by the recent behavior of Six Apart, the company which owns LiveJournal. If you're not familiar with the drama (referred to by some as strikethrough 2007), Six Apart decided that there was some content they didn't want to be hosting and went out and suspended a bunch of accounts that were allegedly associated with said content. There are all sorts of nuances to this, but the above is what happened in a nutshell. They realized later that they screwed up and restored a lot of accounts and are allegedly taking steps to ensure this won't happen again. I was also further mollified by reading what content they will and will not allow.
Ultimately, though, what led me to do this was the exchange rate. The US is still a giant half-price sale for those paying in Sterling. I'm such a cheap bastard.