Thanks for all the replies guys!
A lot of things to address here...
First, I'm not naive about the music business or file-sharing and my initial conflict over the news is waneing. As I said, I expected it at some point. The news just set me off - something I didn't expect and is out of character for me. I'm now resolved to focus on the good.
Secondly, "my" livelihood is not affected by this. It "could" however have an effect on the artist's ability to continue making great music, but I am (as well as others) determined not to let that happen.
I never considered the time spent as an investment, but rather a labor of love - a love for instrumental rock guitar music that has its roots with Hendrix. I met Jimi as a wide-eyed teenage lad and that love has continued through Schenker, VanHalen, SVR, Vai, Satriani, etc., etc.
As for the "sounds like" thing - I doubt any artist would say they didn't have any influences. To me, great music is great music regardless of the source.
Thanks again guys, your replies have been a big help in my "recovery".