What sort of 'frightens me' about Net Evaders is that they're afraid of becoming hopeless addicts, strung out on chat rooms, "Only coming up to eat," as one person put it in the NY Times Hafner article.
I don't know what people are expecting that is SOOOOOO compelling. Sounds a little like the fear of drug addiction. Hate to tell those people, but downloading a PDF File, shopping on Niemann Marcus online, or playing a game with some stranger in Little Rock isn't exactly tugging on the 'rockpipe'. Guess I don't get all tingly when I save four bucks by looking at the Sunday NY Times online, it's just nice to save the four bucks.
What IS clear from the Compaine "Declare the War Won" article is that, just like recreational drug use, we have to pay plenty for our Web habits. I pay $25 a month for my slow-end DSL line - and that price is because I subscribe for two years and because our phone service is also TDS. Ain't cheap. I was paying the same for a 128K line, until I noticed they weren't even offering that service to new subscribers, and I called to ask if I could be bumped up a level. I'm sure there are plenty of people who still pay what I did for service more than twice as slow.
For those reasons I can understand why people drop out. Unless you have a particular use for getting online regularly, like checking email or for school or work, it's a lot to pay for very modest satisfaction. Americans want more for their 'Infotainment' buck.