With due respect inqrorken, your post is full of inaccuracies about the power system in the United States. (I have no idea about other countries).
> Regular electricity is generated. It's then sold wholesale
This is true for everywhere except the Southeast, AK, HI, and the non-California land west of the North Dakota-to-Texas set of states.
> where the local utilities then buy it and sell it at a regulated (5-10%) profit.
Absolutely wrong. In the areas where there is a wholesale market and in the areas where there is not, the profit does not come from the purchase and sale of energy. 0%. In wholesale regions, the utilities purchase the energy on behalf of customers and sell it to those customers with no markup on the energy. In regions without wholesale, the utilities purchase the fuel and chemicals necessary to generate the power, and recapture those costs with no markup.
Utilities make their profits on the expenditure of capital. Utilities recover "of and on" -- they recover the cost of the capital investment and they recover a rate of return on that investment, on the order of 10%. Only, of course, if the public utility commission rules the investment prudent. And only, of course, for investor owned utilities (IOUs) -- neither munis nor coops collect recovery "on".
> If users of rooftop solar get net zero pricing, then they shift all of the upkeep costs to those without rooftop solar - as PV prices go down, these costs will be borne more and more by the poor and/or those who rent (in many cases, one and the same.)
There are a number of implicit assumptions. First, you're assuming that the net benefit of PV is less than the net cost, from a utility operations perspective. This assumption proves true in some places, but not true in others (including Minnesota, Maine, and a number of other states. Authors include E3, Bob Grace, Karl Rabago, and Crossborder). If the Value of Solar exceeds retail rates, then non-participants are actually better off because of the net metered customers. This happens because while it's true, the wires have to be maintained, it's also true that PV energy is produced when hourly prices are high, so the utility avoids procuring higher priced energy. It also avoids building some of the necessary generating capacity, it avoids transmission line losses, it avoids needing to buy hedges on as much fuel, it avoids having to comply (as much) with state RPS policies, it avoids having to purchase allowances for SO2 and NOx, etc.
> hen realize the traditional model costs less to you.
On this much, we certainly agree. Society has already paid to install lots of wires. Why wouldn't we use them? Large renewables (wind farms, solar farms, geothermal, etc) can be built at lower $/kWh prices, so let's use 'em. But lets also use distributed PV, distributed storage, more detailed and comprehensive demand response (DR), and keep pushing for far higher energy standards and energy efficiency (EE) deployment.