According to this /. article, the music industries own studies have affirmed the idea that it is better for bands and for the music industry to just give away MP3s and let the resulting increase in popularity drive concert ticket sales.
Gee, you think?
Isn't this the exact same concept as allowing music to be played, more or less, for free on the radio (yes, radio stations pay for music rights, but the amount that they pay is virtually negligible - it certainly pales in comparison to the amount of money spent in promotion) spurs concert ticket sales? According to everything I've ever read about the music industry, bands pretty much just make records for free in the hope that album sales drives concert ticket sales, which is where the average band actually makes their money. What they get out of the "big record deal" isn't money from album sales, it's promotion from the record company that, yes, drives album sales for the record company, but also drives concert revenue for the band.
As for me, the last CD I bought was National Lampoon's "That's not funny, that's sick," which was actually a record first released in 1977. I bought it about 3 years ago, promptly ripped it into iTunes and filed the plastic in the garage. Apart from that, for about the last 5 years or so all the music I've bought has been either DRM-free iTunes plus AACs from iTunes, MP3s from Amazon, or when absolutely necessary iTunes DRMed tracks (but only when there is software available to easily strip the DRM. And, no, burning a CD and ripping that doesn't count).