I guess I am just not that familiar with sending data, cause that is the only difference I see. With D star you can send data and link world wide to other repeaters on the D star system like IRLP. What kind of data is being sent back and forth? If its similar to RTTY why not just use the internet to send IM's back and forth? Tell me more about going digital? Are you afraid that digital will turn amature radio into nothing more then a glorified PMR system?