I applied for my vanity callsign in 2007, so there was still a fee. No big deal and I would have no issues paying the fee if they went back to that system. The OP's post is pretty old, I was just browsing around and saw this thread. I am a loss as to why some people change callsigns so frequently in the same call area. I suppose if someone wanted a 2X1/1X2 but they didn't get their first few choices and then one of their choices came up and they applied for it that explains it to some extent. For some people the callsign is identity and for others it is just a callsign that they use on the air. I will say, I got really lucky to get my first choice KJ5T. I was looking for something that I felt sounded good on SSB and CW, I felt personally (others may disagree) that my top three choices met that (KJ5T, NW5W, and KI5M). Further down the list maybe wouldn't have met the criteria as well (NZ5U, NZ5H, NZ5J, NS5J). Probably weren't that many other 2X1's available and there were zero W5 1x2's when I applied.