Just wanted to say how much I agreed with what you said -- on WCA and in the rant.
First off, you put it just right. We're doing the comics *now*, as they are, because we want to do it. I personally couldn't imagine stopping doing the strip because there's so much I want to accomplish. But it's what we *could* do, with our time freed up, that would make the difference. I'd love to go seven days a week or do little extras here and there, but where's the time? Not to mention getting the time to sit and self-edit. I think just having extra time to *write* would be worth its weight in gold. I think when it's presented *that* way, instead of "Why don't all you freeloaders give me money for what I'm doing??", you can't help but see that clearly if the dedication that's involved now was magnified 100 times, you'd *really* have something to shout about.
Second, I never liked begging. Never. When people were saying "Hey, look at my PayPal rates!" I just felt awful about it, because I really don't like the idea of people coming to my page and seeing an outstretched hand. When it's for Keenspot, I don't mind, because it benefits everybody, but just me? Why should anyone pay me and the five kajillion other webcomic artists out there? As you say, do they have "infinite pockets"?
I don't want to tell anyone what to do, but I feel like "begging" just hurts the image. Eventually, if a comic keeps asking for money, people are going to become disillusioned with the comic when it still takes frequent vacations or presents substandard content. Because there's an *illusion* that's created that the money you're giving is actually *helping*. And people will wonder, "Fer cryin out loud, I gave you $5, what more do you want?!" Creating bitterness in your readers is not a great way to advance ahead.
When it comes to my own decisions, more or less I always rely on the vagaries of my conscience. If it doesn't "feel" right, I don't do it. That applies to things like the G-newsbox (which has regrettably caused its share of headaches with you), promotion ideas (I couldn't imagine any of my characters doing cheesecake, although Angie Lishuss is obviously now a contender) and to income. As to the latter I've always felt uneasy about how the issue would ever resolve itself, but now that you've posted your thoughts, I feel more and more confident that while KS may not have all the right answers at the moment, it's definitely heading towards them.