Here are my top alternatives to Netflix Instant Watch:
Hulu has made some gains, but it still lags behind in the film section. Hulu is available on many devices connected to your TV, just like Netflix. You can stream Hulu through an Xbox, PS3, TiVo Premiere, Roku and many other devices. Hulu has many network shows available as well as the films from Criterion Collection. At $7.99 per month, it's a good value. It falls in line with the Netflix all-you-can-eat model of video streaming.
Do you like to shop online? Do you like your packages to arrive quickly with free shipping? If you do, Amazon's streaming service is a nice perk to its Amazon Prime program. Many of the films available on the streaming service are what was available on Netflix a few years ago. There isn't much current, but it is included with the price of an Amazon Prime membership. Here's a list of what is available. An Amazon Prime membership will cost you $79 per year. The free versions of Amazon Prime will not get you access to the streaming content. There are any different devices that can play Amazon streaming content such as a TiVo, Roku and others.
Greencine has been around for a long time. It originally catered to mainly arthouse and independent type films. Now it has a collection of over 30,000 DVDs and 9,000 video on demand features.
Vudu is the premier website for streaming HD content. It is available on PS3 and other Blu-ray players. Many films are $2 for standard def content and around $5 for HD content. The picture and sound quality is very, very good.
Your local library is also an excellent resource for watching DVDs. Many libraries offer the ability to reserve discs online. That's the solution that I'll likely use. I don't watch that many DVDs anymore. I certainly don't watch enough to justify another ~$70 a year. I'll just put my tax dollars to use for me and step into the library. I already do that for books. I can now do the same thing for DVDs.