I just finished reading through this thread, with great interest in the topic. I think its clear that for anyone who uses lighting the way Paul does, any savings by switching to CFL or LED bulbs will be negligible, at best. For the rest of us, however, there is a very real savings potential, depending on usage patterns. It is currently winter here in KY, and gets dark by 6:00 PM. This means that we use one light, with a single bulb, for 4 to 5 hours per day. On sunny days we try not to use electric lights during the day, but on overcast days we find it is more efficient to keep the windows covered with insulated window coverings and use electric lighting than it is to leave the windows uncovered to have access to sunlight, which also allows some heat to escape. On these days we may use a single light for as much as 12-16 hours, depending on how much overlap their is in my wife and my schedules.
Light intensity and quality is very important to me when I'm working. I use 27 watt bulbs in my office that output 1300 lumens and have a color temperature of 5500. This gives me comparable light to a 75 watt incandescent, with only 36% of the electricity use. I've been using the same bulbs for a year so far, with no problems, but clearly I can't guarantee how long they will actually last. My primary point is that, for those who find CFLs to be too dim, or who do not like the color of light, it is very likely that the problem is with your selection of bulbs, rather than the CFL technology itself. I agree that manufacturer claims that list an incandescent equivalent for a given CFL bulb are often exaggerated, or worse. The problem, however, is that consumers continue to rely on these equivalencies, rather than shopping based on lumens, and actually knowing the output needed for a given lighting task.
Lastly, I feel compelled to respond to comments regarding the banning of incandescent bulbs. I haven't researched all of the state laws, so it may be that some states have passed laws that ban such bulbs. However, no such federal law exists, contrary to popular belief. There are federal laws that require increased efficiency, which most incandescent bulbs did not meet. However, there is no requirement that manufacturers stop producing incandescent bulbs, just that they improve their efficiency. Many have opted to abandon the technology completely, and focus on the more popular CFL and increasing popular LED technologies. There are, however, some manufacturers that have already developed high efficiency bulbs, that are not CFL or LED, that do meet the new requirements. Suggesting that the law bans incandescent bulbs simply because none met the requirement at the time the law was passed is like saying a minimum MPG rating for automobiles was the same as a ban on trucks, simply because no truck met the requirement. Clearly auto manufacturers would develop new trucks that met the new MGP requirement. Likewise, if there is a great enough demand, lighting manufacturers will develop more higher efficiency bulbs to meet the new law.