You know, I'm a big vinyl head. I prefer vinyl to everything else. And this is because I am a bit old school in that I like the idea of listening to music as being an active experience - HAVING to get up and turn the vinyl over, looking through the sleeve or booklet etc... For me music has ALWAYS been about the entire package, not just the song. So, for me, vinyl is the perfect annual gift (though... this year's and last year's I thought were kind of lame).
That being said, I'm not like everyone else. And I respect that. I 100% agree that U2.com/Fanfire (or whoever) would save a bunch of money if they would ask which each subscriber would prefer when they acknowledge the gift for the year. Sure, some people who don't have a turntable may still ask for the vinyl because it's a cool collector's item, but by and large I think most people who don't have one aren't going to want one.
Personally, I was thinking, if the purpose is to have a collector's item, why not also give the option of a CD that's designed the same way etc? That way non-vinyl folks can get something they can hold in their hands, that's tangible. That would at the very least make a collection of songs like the one they gave this year (three songs that, quite frankly, if you're invested enough in U2 to be a paying member, you likely have already) something that's unique - that no one else has. CDs are WAY cheaper to do, still make a useful collector's item, and you can still get the digital off the site (or rip the CD).
Anyway... that's my two cents. I personally love that vinyl is so in right now. I have nearly collected all of U2's work in vinyl (the reissues... POP and Zooropa make me so happy and I'm dying for Passengers to get released - what a perfect sit-and-listen), I have all the Killers, most of Smashing Pumpkins, and I'm on the home stretch of Oasis - just to name a few.
At the same time, it's not for everyone. And that's okay! I think it would be smart for U2.com to acknowledge that. Why NOT make your paying fans happy when it's something so easy to do?
As for the gift itself...? I'm still a bit perplexed why, with all of the recording of EVERYTHING that U2 does, why don't we have more rarities or outtakes or demos or what-have-you sitting on our shelves?