I don't have time to read the whole thread right now, but here's my 2 cents:
I use P2P, somewhat infrequently, more frequently in the past. I haven't used it less because of the legal suits, but more out of er.. laziness. I rarely download movies, if ever. I sometimes download programs. More often, I download anime and music.
Now, why do I do this?
Because I'm 'poor' .. I don't consider myself poor, but I'm not exactly rich. I simply cannot afford currently to pay $20 every time an artist I like puts out a cd, or a new game comes out, or in the case of anime, it isn't available in the US.
I'll split it into those categories:
Music: I listen to a lot of techno. This is hard to find in the US in some cases, and general expensive. So I download large 80+ meg MP3s that people record at live shows and such, or even full length CD-rips. Most of these are only released in Europe. I have no regrets in downloading them. For American music, I'll use Linkin Park as an example. I like them, but I didn't have money when their three cds were released. So I downloaded, and when I had money, purchased. In the case of non-techno music, I use mp3s to either (a) backup a cd I own, or (b), preview a cd before I spend $20 on it, and in general if I don't buy it, I delete every but like 1-2 songs I really like.
Games: Gaming is a different subject. Illegal copies of games in general, cannot be played online. Multiplayer is in general the biggest draw in a game for me, for replay value. In general, I download games for three reasons: (a) To preview then purchase, (b) Because it only has single player and I don't want to pay $55 to play the game once.. If it was a console game instead of PC
, I'd just rent it once for $4 at Blockbuster, (c) The local stores have not stocked the game yet and I MUST PLAY IT!. (c) is currently happening to me with Doom 3. None of the stores have it yet, even though the release date is two days past, so last night I gave in and started downloading it. As soon as its available locally, I will be purchasing it.
Anime: Whee. Well. Anime has a few programs. Either its not available in the US, drasticly censors or edited in the US, or prohibitly expensive. Where a normal DVD runs about $15-20, anime DVDs can run as high as $40 a piece. Since most animes are tv series, ie 26+ episode and roughly 6-8 DVDs, this is a VERY expensive hobby. I simply can't afford to do anything BUT download anime if I want to see the newest shows. I do occasionally purchase anime, but only when I can find a nice bargain (I've picked up the first 85 or so episodes of Sailor Moon (Or my wife did) for only $80 recently. Great buy).
So yeah. Hi