I attended CI's Annual General Meeting in September. As far as I know their prices have never risen, mostly due to extremely low overhead. Their assets are relatively meager compared to Alcor, and they are currently somewhat dependent on charity from members (especially in the form of bequests from patients). They have several responsible people watching over the financials, and they are quite aware of the Alcor's difficulties. I got the sense that the board may be consider a fee hike, which IIRC would not be grandfathered in (according to the terms of their patient contract).
You can dig in to past financial statements here -> http://cryonics.org/financials.html
I am in the process of signing up (lots of paperwork!), and those family and friends who are aware of it have been perfectly fine with it so far. It helps that I have a very accepting family and one particularly close friend who is also signing up.
Keep in mind that familial support is absolutely critical. You don't necessarily need to inform your friends of your decision, but your family members (especially your spouse, if any) must be completely informed and respectful of your intentions because they have final legal say over the disposition of your remains in most legal jurisdictions.
With your family, it might help to bring up more mundane end-of-life issues first, eg. making sure that your parents have wills, do-not-resuscitate orders, organ donor cards, etc. People in general don't like thinking about this stuff, and its not any easier when you throw talk of liquid nitrogen into the mix. Having an existing ongoing adult conversation about general end-of-life issues first might make it easier for you to eventually "come out" as a cryonicist.
By the way, if you are interested in talking to other people about their experiences in person, the Annual General Meeting of the Cryonics Institute is this Sunday (9/18/2011) in Clinton Township, Michigan. It is open to the public, and I will be there. http://cryonics.org/CI_AGM_2011.html
Thanks for this. It is great and I 100% agree. I've been suffering lately from severe anxiety related to this (yes, really - so severe as to require hospitalization) and the arguments in this letter have really helped put my mind at ease.