This site can help users overcome troubles with all kinds of spyware-related problems. I've found it to be a big help in fixing the computers of friends and relatives.  
Generally, I search for posts about similar problems; if need be, I'll post a HiJack This log and in a day or two the problem is solved.  
Very helpful when you need it!
Helpful site, but
Birdieguy: All you need is Lavasoft's Ad-aware 6. It is a free download, and it's worked awesomely for me.
tomcat101147: Spyware info isn't just about software downloads. The newsletter also covers issues in the spyware/adware community and what is being done with laws to try to stop the abuse of spyware/adware. There are freedom of information issues and mandatory disclosure issues discussed frequently.  
Ad-Aware is a fine program but no single software on the market provides full coverage or protection. This issue is frequently mentioned on as well.  
Just offhand I'd have to say that if you're still using IE then even Ad-aware SE ain't gonna do all the job. If you were using Ad-Aware SE Plus buckled up behind FireFox and being watched in the background by Spyware Blaster then you might be okay. But to depend on a single item as a firewall is just not gonna keep your computer clean.  
Ad Aware has to be run to be effective. Without AdWatch (Ad-Aware SE Plus) it is a clean-up type of software. And it has to be run from safe mode as well. Since there's a lot of different solutions to try to stay ahead of the hackers I certainly wouldn't put all my trust in only one and don't.  
My computer is protected by Norton AV, Spyware Blaster, Ad-Aware SE Plus, CWShredder, and I use FireFox as my browser. I also have MRU Blaster running to clear temp files and most recently used files from the computer during my online sessions and at the closing of my browser. In conjunction with having various defaults set to refuse software downloads and installation without permission this works pretty well over all.  
Don't rely on just one form of protection. It'd be like going to a gunfight armed with a knife.
SuperCatBarf: Birdieguy, AdAware is useful for sure, but when you've got n00b housemates or anyone who's not you using your computer it's virtually worthless.  
I've seen problems where after running AdAware, Spybot, TrendMicro, eTrust, and Panda, in addition to McAfee, nothing was right. I've gotten good advice from these folks and it always works.  
I'm not picking at you, but in time you'll need this site if anyone other than you uses your computer. Put the site in favorites!  
Anyway, thanks for the response, and thanks to tomcat also.
Birdieguy: I wasn't discrediting the site by any means (I liked it...), but was simply offering some advice that a particular piece of software has worked great for me. I run it once a day, and usually it just finds the 30-50 cookies that I need to get rid of. Occasionally it will find something that is somewhat harmful, and gets rids of it.  
Personally, I also use Norton AV. I also don't download a ton of music files, nor a ton of downloads period, mostly just a lot of web-browsing.  
So, using both on a daily basis has worked fine for many years now. If something happens that I cannot recover from, then so be it. I'd rather not have a half-dozen programs running all at once to combat what might come my way.  
To use your analogy, I don't see the need to protect myself from a couple o' guys with guns - with an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
deathburger: Bump for those still stuck in virusland.