Ah yes, pay the extortion fee to regain your rights back as a conditional privilege. Thanks for making our lives easier, Toilet Safety Administration!
Yep, it sucks. But as a practical matter, if you travel regularly it makes your life much easier. Most of the time. You don't always get TSA Pre, even after paying the extortion fee. But you get it 90+% of the time, and are happy you did, especially when lines are long and you are carrying a lot of crap.
TSA Pre has allowed me to return to my pre-9/11 habit of arriving at the airport 25-30 minutes prior to departure, so that by the time I reach the gate I can walk right on. BTW, I don't recommend this habit unless you can afford to miss the flight, because maybe one time in 30, you will. But the 29*0.5 = 14.5 hours you'll save by doing it are worth the two or three hours you lose when you miss your flight and have to catch the next one. When the flight I'm on is the last of the day, I make sure to arrive 60 minutes before.