Sounds like every piece of Google hardware ever made. Build a great machine, saddle it with a requirement for a subscription or always online host, then turn up your nose when you abandon the product and software and leave your customers high and dry. Then again, it does seem to be working for Google, customers be damned.
I looked at a Cricut last year and it did look great for a lot of things. I was looking to cut more robust material, so I jumped into the CNC space with a Shapeoko 3. It can cut many things the Cricut can, but not things like decals and fabric, so if that is what you are looking for, CNC probably is not the right avenue to go down. But I often cut cardstock and chip board for things like LPR/MPR centering rings on my CNC router using a low speed and 1/32" bit. For HPR, I now cut a bunch of my own parts for each project.
No proprietary software/subscription required - you can use the CAD/CAM software from Carbide 3D (it is free - no online requirement), but any CAD/CAM software that produces industry standard "g-code" will work. Want to use FreeCAD? Go for it. Already have the uber expensive AutoCAD package? You can use it.
One of the issues I had with the Cricut was the lack of precision in the software to make exact parts. This did not seem to be an issue for decals and fabric, but a centering ring or bulkhead that is slightly off, won't work well. Desktop CNC gives you precision down to about .001" (or better - depends on how much you want to spend). Cricut may have improved the software since I last looked at it, since that was at least a year ago.
CNC is not for everyone, especially if you are cutting paper/decals or fabric, but if you want to cut cardstock and up and greatly expand your horizons, CNC is unbeatable. CNC is not a one-to-one replacement for a Cricut machine
, but for some people, it may be an option. Frankly, CNC is a bit of an addiction, I admit - once you start cutting things up, you start seeing things you can make all over the house/neighborhood. Once your neighbors find out you have one, you will become the neighborhood sign maker