I haven't seen anybody here come out and say it, but a lot of you seem to share attitudes with the people that believe that the American anime industry are corprate [jerks] that are trying to con you out your money and that downloading licensed anime is the way to go. And I'm going to tell you why its not...
When you buy a bootleg or download a fansub, no money from your wallet is flowing into the anime industry, Japanese or American. That might not mean much by itself, but when you have thousands of anime "fans" choosing the cheaper option, it makes an impact. If less money starts flowing into the anime industry as a result of people discovering free sources, that means that future anime will be lower quality due to budget cuts (which means that the animation and fight scenes are going to be crap and that you'll be seeing a lot of still frames and the like) and that there will be less of it.
When you buy a legally licensed anime DVD from a legal source, the original creators get a cut of the profits. By buying these legal DVDs, you're helping to support the anime industry in Japan and America. That means higher budgets for anime-related projects on both fronts.
On the Japanese front, you have better animation, less still frames, and higher quality fight scenes. Animators and directors will be getting paid more, so they'll be more motivated to do their job well. They'll be getting better equipment too, so that'll help raise the quality of the animation even higher.
On the American front, we have higher quality DVDs with better picture and sound and more extras, and more importantly, we have better dubs. Compare the dubs of now to the dubs of seven years ago. (Don't even look at 4kids, they're a terrible example, they're in the minority, and we dub fans hate them too.) Most of VAs put a lot of effort into their roles these days because their paychecks are somewhat higher and they know that they have an audience, and script writers will often switch the dialog around to make things more interesting and make things flow better in English on top of getting the main points across. For every Crest of the Stars coming out of American dubbing studios these days, there's five Berserks. And things will only continue to get better as the American anime industry gets richer.
In short, if you truly love anime, you'll want to see the anime industry prosper. And the best way to support the anime industry isn't to just sit there and be satisfied with that free medium quality fansub that you have sitting on your computer, its to go out and buy the DVDs to your favorite shows.