If you like, want or need this software - buy it. If you don't, don't.
I've been a happy user of Pixadex and CandyBar for years. The revised model makes perfect sense: why *not* have all your icons right there in the application designed to apply them? Okay, so it cost a little to upgrade. What's that - four visits to Starbucks? A DVD you'll only watch once? They'd have been perfectly within their rights to charge a nominal fee for the extensive rewrite to come to Leopard: for a few bucks more you're getting a much-improved application.
The developer's job is to improve their product for the general (and evolving) market, and support their families. Wishing them out of business is as loopy and unpleasant as hoping an author will have a heart attack just because you didn't like his last book. Threatening to warez the product is nothing more than theft, and places you well outside the pale of normal computer users.
Reserve your self-righteous ire and excessive use of capitals for companies like Unsanity - who took over a *year* to update some of their software for Tiger, and seem intent on the same glacial approach this time around - rather than people like Panic: who tirelessly (and quickly) tweak their products for each new iteration of the system, who came out punching with a sleek and powerful new version of CandyBar within weeks of Leopard hitting our desktops, and who - via iconfactory -are constantly giving to the Mac community. Or take a pop at Final Draft, which cost a fortune to upgrade just for it to (more or less) work in OSX.
Or better still, why not *relax* a little, remember no-one's holding a gun to your head when it comes to upgrades, and go spend your money on something else - like a good book on anger management. If the freebie alternatives do what you need, use them instead, or you could save every last cent by slavishly changing the icons one at a time (though note the warning about possible future system changes, which CandyBar will help you avoid). Personally, I happily spent the cash to get what CandyBar offers me.
The bottom line is that the ability to futz with your icons is not exactly life-critical, but a pleasure and hobby - which you can choose to spend a few bucks indulging, or not. It's really not worth getting this worked up about, nor worth aligning yourself with thieves, nor wishing ill upon the developers. Get some perspective, and grow up.