To take what Bryan said a little further, a single LNB dish will only work with one receiver, which means you can only watch one channel at a time. However, a two LNB dish, or Dual LNB as their called, allows a second receiver to be added to the same dish, requires only a second cable run in to the house and when connected to the second TV, it can now tune in any channel independent of the first TV and receiver. The added cost is usually about $5 a month more for the second receiver, and most dealers sell dual LNB satellite systems with two receivers for only a $100 more than a single system.
As Bryan noted, the web sites for DISH TV or Direct TV have a page listing what cities have local TV now, and details of upcoming cities for service. We have it here in Seattle, with ABC and CBS, FOX, NBC will be on soon, and for PBS, we have a Denver station, but I'm sure we'll eventually get our local PBS. The satellite companies want to have as many local channels as possible, in theory, but the local stations are the holdout, for a variety of reasons. In time, they will come around, too.
All of the various receivers available now work fine with the Pronto. True, some don't have discrete power on/off codes, but it's a moot point. They all are about 80% "on" anyway, even when powered off. The cost savings in electricity might be a few cents/month. I usually tell my customers to just leave it on. If that still creates a problem, the additional programming required to deal with it can be easily handled by the Pronto. The only other consideration, besides cost obviuosly, is the features you require and how they perform, which you can verify at any showroom. Usually, most people buy the top of the line receiver and a dual LNB setup, with all the whistles and bells, for their main TV, and a second "vanilla" receiver for the bedroom or second TV location, where easy, delayed recording from the satellite isn't a requirement. The difference in price between all the various configurations isn't great, either. Setup is not difficult, and, if you want, most dealers will do it for you for about $100.
In any case, you will find the picture, sound and benefits of the various services far superior to cable.