Ads, for better or worse, support a lot (if not most) of what I find enjoyable and useful online. Therefore, I don't use ad blocking software or plugins.
When a content subscription is offered, and when my perception of its value is sufficient, I’ll pay. Occasionally a site will offer the option to pony up for an ad-free experience, and I've gone that route, too.
Most of the time, however, I surf for free, the price being that I have to endure advertisements.
Ad blockers aren't reducing the number of ads we encounter. Instead, advertisers and site owners are being forced to increase the quantity and intrusiveness of ads to recoup views lost to ad blockers. In other words, ad blockers are degrading the Web for those who don't or can't use them.
I also don't like the idea of getting a free ride. Owning and maintaining a site costs money, and when there's no product being sold, most of the revenue comes from sponsors (read: advertisers). New models are sought, but advertising is still the most common means of support for content sites.
That's not to say I don't try to spare myself from ads: I use Feedly to keep up with sites I follow; Instapaper to save articles I can't read in the moment; and Safari's Reader feature when reading in the browser. Each of these services effectively strips away ads, providing a cleaner and, in most cases, superior reading experience.
If a site bombards me with ads, especially overlays, I leave immediately and make a mental note never to return. One could argue my behavior is the same as using an blocker, but I disagree: I'm willing to put up with some ads — even a lot of ads — if they're unobtrusive, but I vote with my clicks. Sites that are abusive are banned. In this way, I like to think I'm encouraging better behavior, whereas I believe ad blockers are encouraging the opposite.
So, while we all wait for a better, friendlier replacement for ads — and we might be holding our breath for a long time — let's support the sites we like by turning off our ad blockers.
With me? Tell me on Twitter.