I can only attest to the legal sides of bitcoin, but here's my story:
Firstly, I'm from an IT background (software development, system administration).
I have became familiar with bitcoins in 2010. I got involved in mining 1 year later, in 2011 with GPUs. I started to trade them as well, but not on a day-trader level,trading and mining is more like a hobby for me.
Forward time a bit, it's 2013 and now I accept bitcoin in one of my businesses (software development), I still mine, however I use ASICs now, and I still trade time to time.
I do pay my taxes after the income I make on bitcoin, and I would advise anyone involved to do the same.
There have been a surge of businesses accepting BTC in the past years and I find myself buying more and more stuff with it (domain names, vpns, dedicated servers, hardware, precious metals, software, donations, etc)
I would like to see more places to spend bitcoins though, I think it's good for businesses and customers as well.
I have experienced all the major corrections, and panic sells. Personally, I have not suffered loss (btw it's important to risk money what you afford to lose), I know that it can be frustrating to see the price fluctuate, but If you are in the long term it just doesn't matter. If it achieves wider adoption, the price will stabilize. In my experience these are still the early days and I'm optimistic about future improvements both in the protocol and the services built around it.
Having read this article, I feel it's overly biased. Caution is a must, the bitcoin world has it's own risks, but there is also a huge potential. Among many, the payment system aspect is just amazing and works very well.
I think it's a truly revolutionary currency.
As for the silk road concerns, I think it is well over-rated. In my opinion "war on drugs" will never succeed.
I think governments should rethink their stance, they could kill the whole black market, if they would legalize weed, and control the distribution of hard drugs (no dodgy substances, controlled addicts, etc) In this case people would come forward and there would be a chance to get the addicts off their harmful habbits safely. This would net us a safer / better world.