"'CDs and DVDs' - that's what a CD/DVD Player connecteds to your TV is for."
You don't "rip" your CDs onto your computer? Well, most of us do. I have well over 1000 CDs. I like having them all encoded on my computer so that I don't have to continuously pop one disc out and another disc in. Not only is it much more convenient, but it also massively reduces the damage done to the discs. I also like being able to listen to my music in my office without having to purchase an additional stereo and sound system. That doesn't even get into the issue of data CDs, multimedia/"enhanced" CDs, etc.
"'...pre-infested from the factory' - if that's the case, the installer or application itself may have a trojan, so installing it whether it autoplay's-or-not is irrelevant, you're infected anyway."
I believe what the original poster was referring to was the multitude of instances in which USB storage devices and media players had been infected at the factory (in other words, devices which should not contain executable content in the first place).
"Haphazardly plugging anything into your PC is no different than haphazardly surfing any web site. People are learning [usually the hard way] to take precautions when surfing. The same should be done with any other 'new' content regardless of where it comes from or how you get it onto your PC."
Actually, most of us browse previously-"unknown" websites literally every day. On top of that, every single visit is a gamble. The fact that a site or page did not contain malicious code during your last visit says literally nothing about your next visit, especially with the prevalence of third-party, dynamically-generated content such as banners and ads.
As for "haphazardly plugging anything into your PC", you're telling me that I should not plug a USB flash drive into my system unless I know what's on it. Fair enough. So how do I determine what's on it without plugging it in?
@fastoy re: AutoPlay
"AutoPlay only introduces a RISK if a user clicks on an icon that they don't understand. Period... Taking this away from those of us who think isn't right."
Most of us find AutoPlay to be one of the most annoying things Microsoft could have done, and we're happy about having the option to disable it. If you want to keep AutoPlay enabled, there's a simple solution for you -- don't install the update. See how easy that was?