I have had quite a lifestyle change since my initial post on this subject.
I now prefer walking to driving, and so the video store no longer seems nearby. I do not consider it worth the time and effort to walk two kilometres each way twice, first to rent, then return a movie.
I appreciated the value of having a car in the past week when I did not have access to one, for two days. I now reserve driving principally for essential commuting to not too far beyond walkable distances and when and where walking is difficult to impossible due to time or weather. The video store is not worth the special trip.
Renting by mail is a reasonable option if one were to get postal mail delivered and picked up at the door. I do not like to specially dress warm and walk to the mailbox on a cold day if I am not otherwise planning to go out. I also do not like the physical handling involved, of opening and shredding envelopes, washing, loading and unloading discs and ensuring these are received and returned in a timely fashion.
Physical copies, not downloads, remain the only way to get 1080p high-definition content and movies not available for download. Buying a physical copy, especially on DVD, is in most cases cheaper than the comparable standard definition downloadable version and serves as a backup against data loss.
I now go for convenience and download movies that are either only available for download, bargain-priced, won’t benefit too much from a higher quality copy on disc or something I want readily available jukebox-style. I get movies on disc if they are only available on disc, are bargain DVDs, warrant getting the best available quality on Blu-ray or need to be playable on any disc player.
The lifestyle change also makes me feel the need to have fewer physical possessions grounding me, so to be as mobile as possible I am more open to owning downloads as opposed to discs.