I have a love/hate relationship with feed readers.
I love them to keep up with political blogs--especially those who post several times a day, or with blogs like Engrish or Not Always Right, ones that I don't really want to leave comments on. I also love them for keeping up with those who post infrequently. There is nothing more discouraging than clicking through to a blog day after day, only to have nothing new to read. I stop visiting the site, only to go back one day and find that I've missed several posts. With a feed reader, I don't have to worry about that. Anything new will show up in my reader, without me having to waste time clicking through to a site with nothing new on it.
On the other hand, I hate them. It is too easy just to read personal blogs in the reader, and not click through to the site. When I don't click through, I'm less likely to leave comments. And for those who like to keep up with who visits their sites, posts read in a reader don't count as hits. Yeah, you can check the site monitor for references, but --at least in the one I use-- it just shows up as the reader hitting your site. You don't know who is using that reader.
Not only that, I think a reader adds a barrier between the author and the one reading the blog. When I used to bookmark my blogs and visit each one individually, I thought of the authors as my friends. Now, using a feed reader, it has become much more impersonal. It's like so many of them are no longer friends any more. They are just authors.
The question is, can I give up my feed reader, and reconnect with the blogs I read on a personal basis? I don't know.