After switching from MSE to Avast recently, due to a report saying that MSE has fallen off the good rankings and is pretty weak when it comes to offering protection, I'm once again back on MSE. After using pretty much all free alternatives, I've come to the conclusion that baseline protection is enough for me, reason being:
1. I don't frequent crack sites anymore (stopped pirating games/ softwares almost entirely, use free softwares wherever possible)
2. I barely connect infected USBs to my Windows PC, I use my linux laptop to take care of those pesky trojans.
3. Pretty much all AVs (free & paid) have become way too much obtrusive, they don't offer much customization to the power user, nag you all the time about upgrade to this & that, and are overall making your system perform slower.
4. Browsing takes a hit in loading pages when you run a full loaded AV.
5. Noticeable increase in latency & pings in online gaming, this is a big F NO to me right here.
If it were upto me, I'd running no AV at all. Since I've almost (95%) stopped frequenting fishy sites, I no longer catch viruses. My PC has been 100% for a very long time now. MSE really is what I need, as it sits quietly in the background without nagging me all the time. It still does cause some slowdowns when I open my folder which has a lot of executables & zip archives, it still is my preferred AV over pretty much everything.
I'd suggest that if you're a gamer & a power user, then you don't need these bloated piece of crap AVs. Sadly, no AV company is willing to accept the fact that no all users are stupid & dumb and cannot maintain their own PCs. If you're a heavy pirateer, then you definitely need the best of the best to keep you safe. However, if you're like me, and have almost abandoned piracy and other fishy methods to acquire your non-legitimate softwares, then MSE will fit you in just fine.
Just my 0.02$ worth of rant.