XM Digital Satellite Radio- What's the scoop?

I am thinking of getting a tuner but hate the local radio stations, so the new XM radio sounds appealing. After a little research, looks like you can get a sony home receiver for about $299 and the service fee is about $10 per month for 100 nationwide stations and full digital sound. That said, I have had bad experiences with "cd quality" digital radio, for example, Dish Network and DirectTV radio services sound horrible, even when fed through a good D/A converter from the digital outputs of the receiver. The digitial signal is obviously highly compressed prior to the time it gets to you. Anyone know anything about XM Radio, whether it sounds good or not? What sample rate they transmit? Any recommendations or warnings? I apologize in advance for going lo-tech in this forum.
Don't feel bad. I just posted on another thread on this topic (XM radio tuner). I'm listening to Channel 42 "XM Liquid Metal" right now at work. It sounds good enough on these Altec Lansing speakers. Even with these pathetic sub $50 speakers I can tell it is indeed compressed, at least the Real audio sample streams are. Check them out here.


It may sound letter in real life. Hopefully it does. ;-) The real audio streams (64kbps?) are only _OK_. Here's the map of the nationwide launch for those who haven't seen it.

The XM radio van came to my neighborhood block party. They had headphones hooked up to what appeared to be an actual broadcasts on actual commercial receivers (sony and pioneer) and it did not sound as pathetic as the stuff I heard previously on the Satellite tv systems. Lets hope that the sound is good in real life, but somehow I wouldn't bet on it.

I wanted to bump this topic back up top as it's been a few months and as we all know, digital changes by the hour and maybe more people have had experience with it now.

Has anyone been able to compare a digital radio receiver to a good FM tuner?
There are 2 articles about XM radio in this months' Sound & Vision. It is very surprising that neither one discusses the sampling rate or sound quality. The only hint is that it is compressed. The reviews seem to be centered on how good reception is, and looks like reception is good. Still looking for information on the sound quality and sampling rate.