KB, yes the 'net sure has been a game changer. I know there are new riders and young riders reading here and on other forums. At this point in time my tin is at a level that I can deal with, but I don't know what the future holds. Looking back I damn sure would have ear plugs way more than I did. Having the opportunity to choose is different than ignorant bliss. We as riders all take above average calculated risks which we accept. When you really think about permanent hearing damage/loss, none us us would choose that and at least would use minimum protection if we could rewind the past.
When I did start wearing them on long trips I found that I could hear the important stuff better because that droning wind noise is effectively removed. I can hear the engine, tire noise, other cars, horns etc better with plugs in.