you are absolutely correct that cars in this day and age are pretty much a necessity. If you live somewhere without public transportation anyways.
Eh, I've never owned a vehicle and it has never been a problem. Granted I don't live in the boondocks (even tiny towns here have public transportation) but I generally actually walk or bike everywhere. The only place I actually used a lot of public transpo was in a bigger city where the distances between things and the frequency of the buses made it worthwhile. In my hometown the buses only came once an hour and it took less than an hour to walk anywhere in town so I never bothered really.
When trying to decide between food and my car, I'd have a really difficult time figuring that out where I currently live. I've got a 10 minute drive from my home to my work, so if I didn't have a car I'd be pretty much screwed. I guess I could sell the car and buy a bike? But still, where I live it's extremely rainy during the winter months. When you're desperate though, you're desperate.
10 minute drive? Eh, that's not really a lot. On a bike that would be what, 15, 20 minutes? (Forgive me if I am wrong but I find my ability to navigate traffic here means there is very little difference between how long it takes for me to bike versus someone driving around here) I mean it isn't ideal but it isn't insurmountable. It's yuck here during winter too but I bike everywhere pretty much just the same. That said, I live a 5 minute bike ride from work so, easy for me to say. Of course, I made the choice to save hundreds of dollars a month in car related expenses and live in a more central neighborhood.
Edited, Jan 10th 2013 4:27pm by Olorinus