I see these kinds of questions come up now and then and I still can't figure out how buying and doing a self-install makes any sense these days. Assuming you get Direct with a contract, you either can pay $480 to cancel in the first month of your contract or pay for the subscriptions for the 2 years. But the minimum out of your pocket on a contract is $480.
Is it actually possible to buy a couple of the current HRs and all the other hardware for something significantly lower than $480? I wouldn't think so.
I didn't think Direct allowed any actual purchase of brand new gear, so what gear would you buy? I didn't know that D* was that restrictive, although I guess if I had even slightly thought about doing a DIY install I could have found that out.
To each his own on the contact issues. I've been out of contract since Oct '10. I remember thinking about the contract issue as well. Before I knew it, the time passed. Same with my cellphone contract. Time flies for me, I guess