Don't do it.
One Hardened Edition owners opinion only but others share the same belief:
The Hardened Edition is a huge waste of money. Founder status gives you pure crap. A pathetic icon and title, some winter gun camo. Really? The only benefit is that you get the DLC for "free" after you pay an additional $40 up front in the first place. Sure you'll save a few buck compared with buying the DLC later but then maybe you're not that interested in the DLC anyway.
As for the Elite account. It does work like it should right now anyway so why bother paying for it. Use the free version and you'll be just as happy. (and a bit richer).
My advice if you care - buy the basic game used, sign up for the free Elite service, take the $40-$60 you save and set it aside for something else. You hear people say this all the time but really . . . Trust Me on this!
Who else agrees?
I semi-agree but I mean its worth saving the money and knowing I won't have to pay for DLC later on makes me feel more entitled to keep playing the game. And you can only upload 30 seconds of video if you plan on sharing videos (with a free account) but with the paid account you get 1 minute to upload. I think it should be longer cause I've had killstreaks go for a bit but I'm to lazy to upload multiple clips and make it into a video..
I would love to use this feature; trouble is I've disabled theatre mode as some half-assed attempt at improving the terrible lag on the game.
I should also add I got hold of the hardened edition game on day of release and I purely got it to ensure I obtain the DLC first and save a good £30 over the year. The additional emblem and titles etc are all nice features but none that I was that interested in.
I really think you should decide if you will be playing the game long enough to enjoy the DLC benifit of the game. You didn't say if you have played it (or other COD titles) in the past but I personally am almost slightly bored of the maps on MW3. I much prefered the randomness of Black Ops rather than the rage and pure madness of the shocking respawning on MW3 with maps which are too small.
Play the game for 10 hours and decide if you will continue to play it.
(n.b. I suspect the other future game may continue to reward founders with some other exclusive features but nothing has been released yet).