Having participated in big deals for electronic journals since the early days of the Pilot Site Licence Initiative, the University of Sheffield Library has considerable experience of this method of acquisition. It is not the only way of packaging journal content, but in this it delivers a critical mass of current electronic titles. There is now limited financial headroom to sign up for further deals, and constraints arising from the local formularised subject funding system give rise to uncertainties about the ability to sustain existing deals assuming their content remains desirable. We need to evaluate our experience in terms of content, value for money, service quality and user reaction in order to plan for the future. This article presents some personal reflections on that process.