But I'm not a fan of ZoneAlarm or any of the other similar firewalls. I find them to be bloated monstrosities that spend more time on presentation than security.

For the majority of Windows users, the XP firewall is plenty of protection. There are, and always will be, exceptions to this, but those people should know who they are and have made other arrangements.

Too many people seem to think of firewalls as a magic security panacea, no thanks to the likes of Zone Labs and other vendors. They're not, and thinking of them as such can be very dangerous. It's important to know where each tool in the security chain fits, where it might overlap with other tools, and where it's protection begins and ends. If you know that, you don't need to ask people their opinions of a program, you'll be able to evaluate it for yourself.