Decisions in digital preservation pose the delicate mission of balancing desired goals of authentic long-term access with the technical means available to date. Organisations with a commitment to the long-term value of information and knowledge have to take decisions on several levels to achieve their business goals with the evolving technology of the day. This article explores the decision space in digital preservation, with a focus on what can be called the core decision: how to preserve content information. We undertake a critical analysis of the challenges, constraints and objectives of decision making, and discuss the experience in applying the Planets preservation planning method, supported by the planning tool Plato, to real-world business decisions. Based on this methodology and substantial real-world experience in decision making, we present a set of observation points that address issues frequently raised in decision making. The conclusions shall contribute to a clarified understanding of the state of the art and future challenges in scalable decision making for long-term preservation.