>If your way of seeing the world IS genuinely more productive, effective, efficient, insightful and usable, then you should be confident that you will win in the long term, and folk who dabble in a different way of working will come to realize that you're right eventually
A lot of people seems to strongly believe in this, and I find it a very naive way of thinking. The world is a very interconnected, and the FLOSS world is no exception to this. By accepting non-free drivers, more people will be affected by the damage and dangers of non-free drivers.
Drivers are run at a permission level higher than any application. With the exception of BIOS code, hardware drivers can perform any stealth action and be verifiable undetectable. Thus, criticize non-free drivers, is not about testing which method is more productive, effective, efficient, insightful and usable. Its about requiring that the user gets the key to the computer. If we want security in ring 3, ring 1-2 can't be code covered in secrecy. If we accept it, then all security must be assumed to have the hardware driver developer at the top of the trust chain.
Non-free drivers are not primarily an issue about licences.
There also been drivers thats been sold/offered by the hardware manufacture, but that was pre-infected. Razer was one company who had this problem, ( http://countermeasures.trendmicro.eu/razer-downloads-distrib...), and there have been usb-memory sticks with this problem. This is not something intended by the manufacture, but it shows why the trust put in them is not well placed.