I for one actually would like paid firmware feature upgrades better than non at all - firmware is basically a software, and people who keep working on it after initial release deserve some $$$, that's how it works for the rest of the software world. I know this has been discussed before, but I still think a company doing more feature upgrades or innovations in formware would have a market advantage - the reactions to the 7d update proves that the customer base is more forgiving for big flaws when given small favors.
Interesting thoughts. It might encourage the companies to innovate more with their firmware as new features are thought of, or put more effort into developing firmware faster. I for one would have paid for the 7D's big update as soon as I could!!
It may also however, encourage a company to release crippled software knowing that they can charge for the "features" a month or two later.