I think a lot of Brian's points are valid from his point of view. The deal being created does leave the LCS who signs on in a precarious position.
The real problem here is the the LCS is being shoe-horned into a arrangement that wasn't designed for it. Most people won't bother being sure to connect through an arbitrary portal. At some point, when asked where they get their comics from, the buyer won't say "I get them through my Comics Experience link to Comixology". They'll say "Comixology". After not very long, the distinction will fade away. I think the Border's analogy is a pretty good one.
Also, no one will go to their local comic shop to somehow enable a download and then go home and download the comic. To think that is to not understand the way the internet functions in 2011.
From DC's perspective, I see why this make sense. You could say that they are turning their backs on a system that has carried their product for 40 years. You could also say (notwithstanding any personal commitments that were made to Brian), that they have been part of a system for 40 years that has perennially made them second best to a company (Marvel) that has done nothing over the last 20 years but try to undermine the very system that they have had so much success in (Heroes World or no overprinting anyone?). DC, on the other hand, has been a friend to the Direct Market retailers, has the more recognizable characters, has been the most innovative (Vertigo, Paradox, etc.). All this buys them a distant second place finish month after month. See John Jackson Miller's awesome site for details http://www.comichron.com/vitalstatis...ketshares.html
Why is DC second best in the DM? I don't know. I'm sure a lot of the blame can get laid right on their own doorstep. Besides DC's own problems, most direct market retailers over the years have been hostile to the type of consumers that could greatly increase DC's market share. If you've been a customer in a comic shop in the last 30 years, you'd see why women (Sandman, Wonder Woman, Fables), children (Teen Titans, Looney Tunes) and even older adults (Superman, Batman) would be put off by the unprofessional, dirty, hostile, unorganized mess that some percentage of these retaliers (what percent??? 45% 55% 70%???) present to the public.
Probably the best way to look at this is to ask: What will comic distribution look like in 10 years?