No matter how smart you think you are
... malware writers are nowadays likely to be just that little bit smarter than you to allow them to "shaft you royally" as it has been put so nicely above.
Why? Because they are highly skilled (you probably find most coders with good assembly knowledge on the "dark side") and highly motivated (there's sh*tloads of money to be made with no investment and minimum risk).
Fact is that online crime pays big time until international crime inverstigators and the anti malware industry get their stuff together and cooperate in the same cross border cross functional way that service providers do, and twice organized crime.
Because that's what we are facing here, mobs larger and more powerful than what the world has ever seen. Drug crime is a joke in comparison.
And those guys combine zero moral inhibitions with a high level of creativity. No matter how careful you are about where to go and what you do on the web. Just for being online you will sooner or later get attacked, and without malware protection you will get 0wnd.
No matter what OS you use, as the prime infection vector is your browser, it's plugins, and other software.
No matter what firewall you use, as inbound attacks are only conducted by amateurs- pros _make_ you open your doors for them and you will not know what's happening until its over.
That with over 50.000 new pieces of malware a day 'fingerprint' based approach doesn't cut it is clear to the good and the bad guys. The common anti malware approach nowadays is "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...".
This renders the article that sparked this discussion moot. And all the "Real men don't need Security Software" crap...