I also recommend using the host file.
I wasn't using it to its potential until coolcolors posts in the link.
With a little help form coolcolors I think the Host file is working well for me.
I'm still using AdBlock Plus as well & no conflicts between them I can detect.
I still would like to get rid of the "Follow Us" pop up that appears when I come by this site for a minute & don't log in. It is just a gray pop up with only Follow Us & not even the icon.