Wow, what a thread!
In the short time I've been on this site I haven't seen Snowolf so pissed over something, so you know this is quite the topic.
Let me throw a few thoughts into the discussion.
If you are in the U.S., ABSOLUTELY it is your choice to wear or not wear, and should stay that way.
Now I don't know how your health insurance premiums work there, but clearly they should be WAY higher for people who participate in risky activities without taking reasonable precautions. If your health insurer will cover you for all the treatment, therapy and aftercare (possibly years to rest of your life) for a serious injury and doesn't charge you a ton more in premiums, take advantage of that!!! Dodge the uncomfortable, unstylish brain bucket and maximize your freedom! Since you are comfortable with taking the risk, and your insurer is also comfortable with that, exercise your freedom!! YAH!!
And don't forget your contribution to the economy - keeping all those health care, therapy and long term care workers gainfully employed. Nice...
Now, how many of you who don't wear helmets, wear goggles?
Aren't goggles just eyeglasses for sport activities? And we all know from our school days that eyeglasses are not cool. Only geeks/nerds/brainiacs wear glasses. SOOO unstylish. AND uncomfortable. Having a tight-fitting strap running around your head? Pressing a band of foam against your face with a coloured piece of plastic, which may fog up, obstructing your vision? Come on! Does it get more uncomfortable than that?? How do you see anything with that on?? Go ahead, ditch it.
Really, are there any BENEFITS to wearing goggles?
Okay, I hope I've brought a different take on why (I think) a helmet should be worn. But I'm not up for making it mandatory - at least in the U.S. Here in Canada where health care is universal and is funded by the taxpayer, I don't want my tax money taking care of some vegetable for the rest of his/her life because h/she didn't want to be "uncomfortable" or "not stylish". Many resorts here require a helmet if you go into the terrain park.