Alright, that's a big claim to make in a universe that has given us Windows Me, Sony's rootkit software and iMovie '08. Nonetheless, I'm kicking myself that I waited this long to rid myself of the bug-ridden, slow-to-update, generally nasty Adobe Reader experience.
The straw that broke this particular camel's back was the pictured error message, which started popping up whenever I tried to open a PDF file. A quick trawl online suggested that this error was frequently being blamed on Reader 9.1 not co-operating with other programs, but given Adobe's less-than-stellar support service, I didn't fancy trying to navigate my way to a solution. So finally I uninstalled Reader, though only after dealing with this singularly unhelpful message:
After perusing our Hive Five of PDF readers, I went with the free version of Foxit. Save for having to make sure none of the associated toolbars or start page annoyances kicked in (make sure you select the custom install), it's working like a charm, reminding us once again that alternatives can be useful even when you're replacing a free tool.