Yeah, I try to use no-cd/image mounting whenever I can. Recently my (legit) Broodwar disc has gotten very scratched, and can't read some of the music tracks. So I borrowed my friend's copy, made an image on my harddrive, and mounted it with Daemon tools. Now not only does the music play fine, but it starts up faster and you don't have the opening pause at the start of the match when it spins the cd.
Oh, and I agree, in a strange way pirating is like giving them free advertising. A few years ago a guy at my school who was into warez gave me a copy of Lightwave 3d. Of course, because of that I found my true calling (3d animation), but the funny thing is after using it for a year or so and once other kids became interested in it (with my teachers aware that it was illegal and unlisenced), my school legally bought a 5-pack educational lisence for it for $2500. Now if I HADN'T pirated the software, the developer wouldn't have made a dime, but because I pirated it and got other people interested in it, the developer made $2500. Strange world we live in, eh?
Not to mention after playing the Warez version of Imperium Galactica 2, I almost immediately bought the game because I was so impressed. Before I played the warez copy I had almost no intrest in it, but because I pirated it the company got another sale. Though ironicly the CD protection caused problems with my computer, so I needed to use the no-cd patch to play the real game.