@ Chad H
But, to play the devil's advocate too, I can easily see why people started disabling ads. The fact is, the average ad on the Internet nowadays is one or more of:
A) a vector for viruses and trojans (it's not just for porn and warez sites any more),
B) trying to redirect the user,
C) fake UI / fake game / fake poll, or other fundamentally dishonest attempts to trick the user, (no, I don't click on them, but the dishonesty of it rubs me the awfully wrong way)
D) bullsh*t and lies, (e.g.,: "you're the 999,999'th user and won a free iPod!" BS)
F) annoying, (pop-ups, pop-unders, layers on top of the page that need to be clicked to go away, badly-writted applets that use 100% of the CPU, etc)
G) distracting, (no, I don't want blinking and moving crap on all sides, trying to steal my attention)
Now while any individual category described above probably isn't a majority, put together I'd say it's comfortably over half the internet advertising today.
The fact is, back when the web was in its infancy, sites had one (non-animated) banner on the main page, and people actually looked at them and clicked on a lot of them. But then it's been an ever increasing number of them, and increasingly annoying. And it's moved our attitude too from interested, to don't-give-a-damn, to being outright hostile to them.
In other words, it's a pretty literal case of the Tragedy Of The Commons. As in, really, over-grazing a common unregulated resource. The resource here being how much advertising and how much bullsh*t people are willing to swallow, or at least tollerate.
And it's a case where it's not just being the same amount of grass for an ever-increasing amount of cattle, it's a case where the pasture is overgrazed into becoming a desert. There's less and less benefit from each user subjected to that ever-increasing bullsh*t, because they're turning hostile towards advertising as a whole.
Now as I was saying, I do feel some sympathy for the few honest people caught into that bullsh*t crossfire. Which is why I leave ads on.
But even that, in the end is just a way of defrauding the companies paying to advertise their products. The fact is, I'm not just beyond the point clicking on ads, I'm even beyond being hostile to ads. I don't need an ad blocker, simply because I mentally filter them out by now. I'm not going to click it, and I'm not going to buy their product, even if they were selling eternal youth. I'm just not interested in it, if it's via an ad.
Even worse, I might actually become hostile to the product itself, and actively avoid it, if the ad was so annoying that it got past my mental filter anyway.
So basically an ad shown to me is, at best, worth exactly zero cents to the company advertising a product, and at worst it's worth some lost sales. Yet by not blocking the ad, I'm making them pay some money to show me some ads that won't do them any good. (Or, again, might even do them some harm.)
Maybe, just maybe, blocking the ad would be the more honest thing to do after all. At least I wouldn't be taking a passive part in the scam that the ad providers and marketing agencies (and occasionally their own marketers) perpetrate upon the manufacturers and merchants trying to advertise their products. Just a thought.