Options 1, 2, 3 may seem reasonable, but when there is no open-source that is adequate, it is an opportunity for those who want it to make it happen within open-source. Identifying the missing feature is important and crowdsourcing that feature request among other like-minded individuals seems to be working.
You're absolutely right about "When you don't have possession of the object code either and can't even choose to stay with the version you liked, you well and truly have no freedom." Here is an example of having no freedom to stay with a certain version of the binaries as stated by Trevor Pott which I respect a great deal for his lucidity and ability to to express it:
1)microsoft office tool bar changed to ribbon bar when nobody wanted it breaking the original agreement of service.
2)microsoft "unlimited one drive" cloud storage to "limited 5GB one drive" cloud storage breaking the original agreement of service.
This isn't just Microsoft. This the big 5 software and the big 5 telecom not listening to their customers. This is the big 5 software and big 5 telecom simply saying "take it or leave it" attitude/approach with their customers. You can see it in their billing arrangements no pre-paid credit cards accepted. You can see it when you move to different software/telecom providers, the big 5 software/big 5 telecom make it very painful to move. This is about doing everything to take away your digital freedom in subtle ways, preventing competition and preserving their cash cows.
You're absolutely right about "software as a service" being a threat to open-source and digital-freedom. As an example, OFFICE365 is attempting to replace office by offering everything through the web-browser. Oddly enough open365 was released recently. Is open365 entirely opensource? Can we install open365 within the lan? Can we build the open365 binaries ourselves? If so as you said we do preserve our digital freedom.
As for the Linux Advocate promoting non-free software on Linux, I disagree with his point of view because it defeats the purpose of going with an open-source operating system. Non-free software is exactly that NO DIGITAL FREEDOM. There has been a compromise made already, BINARY BLOB hardware drivers especially for cpu/motherboard/graphics cards/network card are have always been present and made available in order to simply use the operating-system, but above that is where the line is drawn. Most software-developers would tend to want to make those binary blobs go away, but for the sake of practicality, many throw in the towel and use those binary blobs. Most gamer fans would tend to throw away the os and run windows to get their games running. Valve Steam is certainly a wonderful entry point for gamers to be introduced to Linux and is acceptable provided it resides in a strict jail ensuring the rest of the normal GNU/Linux software repos remain unaffected by its use and especially the learning and "under-the-hood" "do-it-yourself" aspects of GNU/Linux.
BIG 5 TELECOM ARE THE ONES PLACING THE MOST NON-FREE BINARIES ON YOUR CELL-PHONE/INTERNET INFRASTRUCTURE.
IT IS TO THEIR BENEFIT IN PRESERVING THEIR CASH COW, BUT IT CRUSHES INDIVIDUALS' DIGITAL FREEDOM.
HOW DID THE BIG 5 TELECOM GET AWAY WITH THAT? "REGULATORY CAPTURE". "Regulatory capture" is another very subtle example of destroying digital freedom through the use of political power.
The thing about using non-free software and using the same-old same-old internet service providers means they remain cash cows without any breathing room for "incumbents" or disruptive technology players. The illusion of room for opportunity in those niche markets are there, but the reality is those big 5 software and telecom players in either U.S.A. or any other country just buy out/choke any of competition. Even anti-trust commissions don't stop these big 5 software and telecom players. Take a look at Europe's effort to suppress Microsoft and Google and China's effort to suppress Google. None of these place a significant dent on their abilities to quash their competitors or encourage competition in their dominant market spaces(os, office, search engine, mobile devices, telecom).
Everyone knows competition in telecom in the states is just an illusion, it's just Bell broken up into little subdivisions everywhere and the same with canada.
Here is an example of how the BIG BELL crushes their competition. Windmobile in Canada is a small player in the cell phone service and they can only use a specific frequency spectrum which limits their capability You can't use a windmobile phone in the basement or two floors down from the ground floor. You can't
a windmobile phone outside the city centres. They don't have the coverage, but more importantly they are not permitted to use the same frequencies that Bell/Rogers use that can reach the basement or two floors down from the ground floor. They don't have the license for these frequencies. So does the consumer have the freedom to choose? Not really, go with windmobile and you're stuck with make/receiving phone calls above ground and in city centres. Go in underground parking or out of town and you're stuck without a phone without realizing it.
MY POINT IS HERE:
WITHOUT REALIZING IT,
YOUR DIGITAL FREEDOMS
ARE TAKEN AWAY
BY THE BIG SOFTWARE/TELECOM PLAYERS
IN THE MOST SUBTLE WAYS.
Consumers need to become vigilant about this.
Consumers need to become politically active about these.
When some idiot says we shouldn't see non-free software as such a big deal damaging our digital freedoms, we shouldn't just let them say so otherwise just a few years from now everything you do digitally will require you to pay for including when your phone auto-tweets the fact you're in a shitter somewhere in kookabura land when you didn't want that. It will be too late because you let that happen because you didn't care when people were giving the heads up about digital freedoms.