But that's quite the special case when the content producer also happens to own the advertiser. I don't believe Ars has any such arrangement, for example, maybe I'm wrong...
And you always control your browser. And they always control what content they serve to you. If you choose to block ads they choose not to serve you content. It might be unwise, as the owners of Ars seem to have figured out, but it's certainly within their rights.
Slashdot is not impressed that you buy things from ThinkGeek. Slashdot gets paid by ThinkGeek when you view ads hosted on their site. When you block them, Slashdot gets nothing.
As for your friends, if they share your philosophy on advertising, then you're simply using up additional site bandwidth when you forward links to them.
I'll give you that the restaurant analogy is unfair. Your freeloading is of a milder kind. But what amazes me is that you have the gall to act indignant when you are called on it.
We are both fortunate that people like you are a minority, since it's quite clear that the internet eco-system that we both enjoy would not exist if everyone believed they could consume without compensation.
Your sense of entitlement is a little shocking. Do you truly believe that your "readership" is fair compensation for the work they do to produce content?
Perhaps restaurants should feed me free meals because I'm gracing them with my refined palate.
In the end, Ars is a business. They work all day and get supported by the ads they display. When you block the ads, you are freeloading. If you stop visiting their site, you may consider it a loss, but I don't think they will.