Yeah it's expensive as fuck now!
DeviantArt has changed a lot over the past few months. There's the new Logo and interface and now we have Core Membership. *shudders*
I don't know how DA are justifying these new prices. The perks seem to have gotten worse so you're basically paying more for less.
I remember getting two year Premium for 30$ on some deal DA had two years ago... they have those occasionally. Knowing that, I find it unlikely I'll renew for another year for 50$. At least Playstation Plus gives me a bunch of free games with my 50$ subscription. There is no way Core membership will ever be worth the price of admission unless they have another 2 for 1 deal.
DA must have forgotten how pricey life can be for an artist. Tools and equipment doesn't come cheap.
There is a petition up so if you feel like joining those guys, here is the link
It'll be interesting to see how this develops.