One thing to keep in mind is that Hughesnet has a data cap. While you probably have already noticed this from reading through the community or from doing your own research about Hughesnet, sometimes the transition from DSL, even slow DSL, to Hughesnet can be a little jarring. This is especially true for those that do a lot of streaming. Devices can be set to conserve data and lower definitions can be utilized for streaming, but it can still be a bit of a surprise, as most people on unlimited services would have no reason to know how much data their devices use. Streaming is the thing that takes the biggest hit, so to speak. You just can't do a whole lot of that with this service, and even less in HD.
I'm not trying to dissuade you from signing up for the service, as a lot of people are perfectly happy with it, including myself. I'm only giving the realities of changing to a data capped service like this. It's always best to know what you are getting into before getting into it.
Ah. When you said Verizon, I thought of Verizon DSL, not the cell phone. So you are already used to being even MORE conservative than you would have to be with Hughesnet. LOL.
Regarding the price of paying to cancel within the first thirty days, make sure that your local dealer is offering this, as I don't believe the 30 day cancellation option without incurring the ETF is available when ordering it directly through Hughesnet themselves anymore, lest there be an actual problem. It starts at $400, then becomes prorated after two or three months (I'm not exactly sure how long until it becomes prorated).
Regarding you last paragraph, I've seen so many posts on here regarding data usage and such from people that weren't at all aware of the limitations of satellite internet when signing up, and I'm sure it can be very frustrating. I'm glad that you have done your homework and even more glad that you are asking questions about others' experience in your area.
This is from the current agreement when signing up directly with Hughesnet (as in not going through a local dealer), but again, your local dealer may be offering something different. I'm glad you are double checking.