InDiSent, good idea for a thread to follow on from the other.
For me, I can live without a 3rd party firewall because my systems are behind a router. The XP and Vista firewalls are good enough for on the LAN and I'm not too worried about stopping outgoing traffic. Also, I'm very cautious and security-aware.
I use Nero v8 Ultra. Now I don't deny that it has become bloated and I can understand how others would want to give it up. However, I have gotten upgrades inexpensively by waiting for those special deals where it ends up free (or almost free) after rebates. Nero Recode 2 is better than DVD Shrink which hasn't been updated for years. Nero WaveEditor is the only audio editor I have that can handle 5.1 channel sound files. Also, I have Nero configured so that it only runs when I start an app. I have disabled all of the stuff that they would have running all the time, such as Nero Scout, Nero Home, the NMIndexing service and so on. Finally, I like Nero better than Roxio's similar suite or having to use several different freeware apps to perform the equivalent of what's easy in Nero.