"The fact that some ludicrous patents have been granted to certain companies in certain countries isn't proof that the idea is bad"
Yes it is! It shows that patents mix very badly with disciplines which are built on pure ideas. The argument that "other disciplines have patents so you'll have to get used to it" and the leading question "what is the fundamental difference between a hardware and a software solution?" make the flawed assumption that the patent model is both fair and universally applicable - something that (if you're going to debate patents in general) isn't going to get much agreement from a large part of the third world.
Rather than have an unjust model foisted on software developers because "there might be something in this patenting business", perhaps we should be advocating the removal of patent controls on other disciplines - disallowing various kinds of hardware patents could be an interesting start.