Not so sure about this being written by an alarmist? I have suddenly been seeing the speedometer place holders showing up all over the web, as well as a lot of PB users **** about the changes.
FWIW, I don't use PB, and never have.
Without knowing the utilization profiles pertaining to the folks being hit with those 'speedometer place holders', it still could be alarmist in terms of NOT applying to folks like me who have very low volume of used server capacity that was allocated to each member.
Any increase in membership cost might simply be related to server costs escalating , and passing on the increased cost to the highest consumers of server storage. The dead-end free forum links might be a very clumsy way of convincing the high storage users to pay something more commensurate to their usage.