also trying to decide if $30 is a good enough price for bioshock infinite and far cry 3. but i'm not encouraged by the DLC structure in either. especially bioshock. what in the **** is this "season pass" crap? i REALLY hate it when actual gameplay and story content is chopped up and offered apart from the game for more $$. someone who has played these: am i missing anything of any significance if i buy the base game only? if i buy the "deluxe" or whatever edition, am i going to get all kinds of extra gear at the start that is going to change the tone of the game? (looking at you, fallout new vegas)
$30 for Bioshock Infinite is well worth it. I picked it up at that price about a month and a half ago from a retail store.
No story DLC for BI has been released yet. There are at least 3 story DLCs promised to be released by early 2014. The season's pass is a "bulk buy" of all three of those in advance; it also includes some bonus extras at the start of the game (which don't change the game all that much really, more on that in a minute). If you get a discount on the season's pass by buying the deluxe edition now, then I'd recommend it - I finished Infinite and promptly bought the Season's pass for $20 afterward. If there's no discount on the pass, then you may just want to buy the base game to start and see what you think of the game before buying the advance pass to DLC. Again, those DLC have been promised to be story-expanding DLC with significant content, not "Horse Armour Packs"
The Season's Pass benefits give you some extra in-game stuff and then the DLC access. The in-game stuff is 5 upgrades to health, shields, or salts (you get 24 total in the base game, the bonus raises that to 29, so it gives you a minor boost to stats at the start of the game), and then 5 gear items which are basically clothes that grant bonus abilities. The bonus gear are not included in the base game, and are slightly more-powerful variants of base game gears for the most part.
I played the base game on Hard difficulty, and am currently doing a playthrough on 1999 Mode (which is supposed to be extra hard and harken back to the days of System Shock 2 - so far, I don't find it anywhere near that difficult). I played the base game without the bonuses, then bought the pass before I started into 1999 Mode. I haven't found they make significant changes to the base game by breaking anything, it just gives you earlier access to better survival or more powers use. If anything, I'm finding my 1999 Mode run easier than hard most, mostly because I've now learned the intricacies of the various gameplay tactics and can use them to full effect.
System Shock 2 is my favourite game, period. Deus Ex is a close second. Bioshock Infinite has landed in the top 10 (along with DX:HR, the Mass Effect series, DA:O, Company of Heroes, and several others) so it's in very good company. It is absolutely worth $30 to play immediately if you so desire, and if you're anything like me I'd bet you're going to buy the Season's Pass or all the story DLC individually later anyway.