I really dislike when people say they download software to try it before they buy it; however, I think it is something a developer can remedy as well.
You can dislike it all you want, but it's a fact of life. I've recently gone to a torrent community and asked for opinions on this very subject.
Almost 90% of the users reported that they would only purchase a game legally, if there was a multiplayer facet that they wanted access to - these people reported spending their money more on dvd movies and cd's.
I was actually surprised that a game needed a multiplayer component to be worth buying for so many people, personally I will do whatever I can to support a developer I like - even if it's only single player.
And trying before you buy DOES help, only this month I've bought:
AC/DC - Black Ice
Guns n' Roses - Chinese Democracy
D-A-D - Monster Philosophy (vinyl AND cd)
SOSA - Entrenchment (preorder)
The Office (UK) - Seasons 1 + 2
AvP : Requiem
The Darkness - Platinum Collection
AC/DC - Highway To Hell (Completing my collection..)
Valve Games Collection (20 games or so..)
Children of the Nile + Expansion (Sequel to Pharaoh, which I also own a legitimate copy of, two in fact, by an indie studio purchased via Impulse.)
The Sandmen - Sleepyhead
D-A-D - Good Clean Family Entertainment You Can Trust
This has severely tapped out my available funds, and I don't expect to purchase much over the next couple of months.
However; I will still be following new releases, and listening to stuff before buying it. Be it via radio or other sources (including p2p'ing).
I'm not about to apologize for being realistic in this day and age. Piracy has always been around, from copying floppies, recording movies to VHS from the television, sharing VHS tapes with friends and family.. etc. It's always been here, it's just simpler than ever.
Every year, the stream of music, tv, games and movies is increasing, but the amount of money people have to spend on these items remain pretty much constant. Please do keep that in mind.
Further more, I very rarely buy new things on the release date, as I have no desire to pay massive amounts of money for anything, I go bargain hunting well after things have been released.
Is that also a crime?
Meh, I will keep purchasing my entertainment legally, and pirating as much as I feel is necessary. I will purchase items in my own time, and I don't mind waiting a year for the price of a movie I want to come down.
Hell, I'm not even going to buy many more movies until Blu-Ray becomes affordable, I get a television set that's HD compatible, and an actual Blu-Ray player. So it might be a while before I buy new movies again. I still buy older movies that aren't exactly optimized for hi-def. I am hopeful with regards to upscaling technology that has been released.
At any rate, if you can afford to trust customer and fan reviews of a game before making a purchase, feel free. I won't. Not any more. Particularly not after the spectacular disaster of GTAIV, which has completely devestated my belief in the public review process.
From now on, I will never buy anything without having tried it first. The same is not true for my favorite bands though, they get purchased either way