I think ad blocking originally emerged in response to widespread abusive practices on the part of many who were relying on web advertising for their income. I'm sure we all remember that miserable period when pop-up (and the pop-under) ads were pretty much the norm. So taking a high-handed tone and blaming the victims of prior abuse is more than a little disingenuous AFAIC.
And while it's true that many sites never played those games - or have since learned the error of their ways - they're now discovering that consumer trust is a very real and fragile thing. Especially when it comes to the web. So even though the notion of 'entitlement' very likely drives a part of the ad blocking mentality, it would have never become such an issue if so much web advertising hadn't been allowed to become so intrusive and annoying in the first place.
Right now, I think ad blocking is done more out of habit than anything else. At least that's the case with me. When asked (politely) not to block ads by those websites I regularly visit, I almost always exempt them from being blocked. However, sites I don't regularly visit, or that have an excessive (IMO) amount of annoying advertising are SOL.
I don't really know what to suggest to the webmasters who have to deal with this issue - other than offer some tough love and say: if people aren't willing to pay to support what you're doing for them
- and you can't afford to continue it out of your own pocket - then maybe it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.
This is a hard reality everybody involved in any
creative activity (music, drama, literature, art) has to deal with every day. And as site producers and content providers, website owners fall into that same category. Something often referred to as "starving artists".
I suppose there are a few alternatives to advertising. You could charge a membership fee, solicit donations - or best of all - sell your own
product. I never have a problem with people advertising something they make themselves. But I tend to be much less appreciative of 3rd-party advertising. Especially if it's totally unrelated to anything I might reasonably be visiting the site for in the first place. And I also find any sort of history tracking to be personally offensive and morally repugnant. But that may just be me. I get crotchety about the littlest things sometimes.