I haven't paid for Norton's ISS in years!!!! Every Black Friday it is sold FREE in the US it seems (well, not free, this year, $70USD, $10 instant rebate, a $30 Symantec Rebate, and another $30 Symantec rebate for prior owners). I paid $60USD at the store plus taxes, and had to wait 2 months for the $60 in rebates to come. Cost was the taxes, mailing costs and loss of use of the $60 for 2 months... good enough for me.
I don't know ANYONE who has not gotten an infection at one time or another even with up to date products. My wife was hit by a redirection virus using Norton, but I've stayed clean as had our other computer. Grandson is running McAfee and I get calls routinely from him, HELP!!! Last was the Windows 7 Antivirus 2012 just last week.
It all depends 'where you go' I guess?
I've needed to contact Norton more than ones. A long time ago using N360 my hard drive shrank to zero and was losing MB's per minute. With the help of Symantec it was eventually determined to be a problem with MS's BOOTREC (I think that was it?) and N360 storing that info away. Stopped using BootRec and problem went away. Another time, and this isn't Norton alone, when Thunderbird is updated (and even FireFox) they don't have updates to handle the e-mail scanning and Norton Toolbars on FireFox immediately. Beta's maybe, but it can take a week or two before they release them. Same for McAfee and I said I had real problems with them when I upgraded Thunderbird to 3.0 from 2.0. They couldn't get it working on e-mail. What that meant to me was 'good' e-mails were quarantined automatically. After 5 months they still didn't have it working, and the 'suggestion' was to use the beta s/w, no thank you, hello Norton.
I hope you never need service and continue to be happy with what you have.