Last upgrade was $199, and almost certain there was an early bird or sale at one point... Could have sworn I paid $149.
The big difference is... Once I have paid, I get to use that software as long as my system runs. I think my 4 year cost on Photoshop is in the neighborhood of $450. I skipped one of the upgrades in there. With the CC, that is looking like $960 outlay over 4 years if the $20/month sticks.
But again... If I don't think the upgrade is worth it, I don't pay. I can still use the software this year. Next year, and with as cludgy as their install is, chances are even if I build a new machine, I can get it installed.
That is also not to say as OS changes, you also don't pay for software you don't need. Take Lightroom. Many people still run Windows 98. They don't need 7 and looksy, Lightroom 4 does not run on it.
So for those running PS CS 6 on Windows 7 for example, 2 years from now whether it is Win 8 or what ever is next, if the PS CS 8 only runs on this new OS, you are stuck paying for a subscription for software you can't use, where the hard copy model, you save money.
Rent-Only software sucks!
The real problem is slightly different. Those of us who will try to milk CS6 for as long as possible will be forced to upgrade to CC when and if we update to a new OS. Eventually Win7 will be Win8 (only) or Win9 or who knows what. And lo and behold, CS6 won't work on it so you won't even have your old software to putter around with. That's what I find even now when it comes to upgrading. It's usually about the OS and support for programs for older OS or plugins support for older OS or older versions of photoshop. Those of us who make money using this software will one day find we have no choice but to shell out an obscene amount of money and will have no choice as with all our other expenses but to pass it on to the couples getting married. They are the losers in all of this. Sadly, I've grown too accustomed to using photoshop lo these many many years and don't see a viable alternative. There are raw converters out there but I'm used to using so much more in photoshop itself after converting that I'm going to either accept CC or spend serious time and effort to find an alternative and figure out how to make it do what I need it to do. Darn you Adobe.