People need to chill out until the official announcement next month.
No way. I'd rather decide my next gaming console purchase 6 months in advance based on rumors and fanboy articles.
What's the difference? Does the $500 one get free xbox live? What would I be paying a subscription to for the cheaper one?
The $500 will probably have a bigger HD and maybe some other "extra". A $300 version would have a smaller HD and commit you to a period of xbox live at full price to make up the pricing difference. I've seen this model get crapped on by some but it gives more people the opportunity to get their hands on a console. Makes business sense to me.