Re: Billing via log files, surely?
"I'm tempted to blame the advertisers, for making their ads so effing obnoxious and stalkingly pervasive that a sufficiently large number of people blocked them."
Don't just be tempted to blame them-- do it! You'd be 100% right.
If web ads were the equivalent of print ads in specialty magazines (computers, cars, etc.), it would be a whole different situation. I used to buy those magazines in part FOR the ads; I wanted to know what products related to my interest were available, from whom, and for how much money. Those ads never flashed, moved, made noise, attempted to track me as I read other magazines, delivered malware, forced me to interact with them in order to see the content, or anything like that. They also never made it take three times longer than it usually would to turn the page and begin reading an article. And on top of all that, they were more relevant than any "targeted" ad ever has been for me... it was targeted at people who are interested enough in topic X to read Topic X Digest, and that actually worked.
There are a few sites that I whitelist in my adblocker. My requirements are that ads have to be unobtrusive, silent, non-animated, non-interactive (if I inadvertently mouse over one, it had better not do anything) and relatively lightweight, and free of the worst offenders when it comes to tracking (even if I can still stop that with NoScript, which I never turn off for anyone. Sorry, I am not about to leave my front door unlocked when I am in a high-crime neighborhood, and the web is exactly that).
A site that connects to 30 or more third party domains for analytics and ad serving is not going to get whitelisted, no matter how nicely they ask, but I am always willing to keep monitoring the situation and consider adding them if they maybe drop it to one or two ad domains and adhere to all the other requirements here. First sign of an animated, reactive, or noisy ad, though, and it's back on the block list for you. If your business model depends on serving people nasty, obtrusive, spying ads, you have a problem.