Patrick, you've said a whole lot in your wonderful post except for one thing. Why?
With the freedom you've had with Giant Bomb to focus on what you wanted to write about I can't understand why the need to head off. Actually I can think of one reason. It's called CBSi.
*shrugs* Well, it's your choice.
Good Luck Patrick. You've bought a lot to the site and will be sorely missed. It may have taken a while to become 'part of the family', but you are and so losing you is going to leave a hole in Giant Bomb.
I have it, I just haven't had time to play it yet. I paid for the early access too. Only managed a couple of hours and still pretty clueless. Hopefully I'll get into it properly with the time off over the Christmas break.
(The original Elite got thousands of hours play in my teenage years on a C64 with an Atari 2600 joystick)
I've pretty much left consoles too and I was always a console first guy with the PC for games that worked better with a mouse like RTS. Steam, ah, lovely Steam with its big picture has stopped me getting one of the new consoles.
It's not like I'm packing a crazy i7 with a gtx980 either, my PC is a far more humble machine and is still producing incredible results. Luckily I still enjoy older games so paying ridiculous cash for certain components just to get the best possible resolution isn't necessary. (Thank you Steam and GoG). It's also what has bought me my love of PC gaming, being able to play pretty much anything from any period. Just lovely.
This isn't a dig against Giant bomb or it's staff, just a heads up if you are a UK (50 dollar) subscriber and have the member t-shirt that comes with it.
The address labels CBSi and the Giant Bomb Emporium use, have the total value of your subscriber order on them, in other words your $50 subscription that you paid is taxed when your t-shirt gets into the UK borders system. The total price you'll have to pay is $50 for your subscription, the $15 for the shipping (which you know about) and then and extra £14+ for tax and handling charge ramping the price up to approximately $85.
This didn't happen when Giant Bomb was part of Whiskey Media, but it does happen now. *shrugs*
I refused the customs charge (I'm poor, shoot me).
Anyway UK duders, just be aware of the total cost.
It's things like this that make me grateful the only Ubisoft game I actually like is Far Cry 3. I'll wait to see if more of these gems appear in number 4 (when it's cheaper and finally appears in the UK version of Steam.)