I agree with most of what Marco pointed out over at his blog where I originally found the Ars Technica article. It’s really easy to lose yourself with the unread count. You want to give every feed you subscribe to the attention they deserve. But you have to start getting into the habit of not feeling bad about marking all as read. Everything in excess can turn into a problem as Charlie Sheen would say. But I also believe that RSS solves more problems than the ones it creates. Mainly it solves the one problem of not having to visit the sites directly everyday to check if there’s something new.
For me there’s really no general rule on how to use RSS effectively and what it should and not be used for. It’s up to the individual to see if it works for them or if it’s just a huge time sink that makes them forget to pay the bills on time.