I don't like loud exhaust but I'm also a bit older. The argument that loud pipes save lives is complete bullshit, if you have ever been passed by a bike with loud pipes while you're driving in a car you will notice you don't hear the bike until it is right next to you and then as it pulls away often times startling the driver. All of the sound is directed to the rear, the people behind the bike hear it well but by the nature of rear end collisions typically the didn't run into you because they didn't know you were there, they rear ended you because they couldn't stop in time. Most collisions caused by the driver not seeing the bike is pulling out of a side street in front of a motorcycle or changing lanes, super loud pipes won't help that unless you turn them around and point them forward.
In my opinion loud pipes simply piss off a lot of the non riding public. It inspires people to try to get motorcycles banned from national and state parks and mountain or coastal overlook roads that riders like. The problem is by the nature of laws it's more difficult to ban and enforce a restriction on motorcycles with aftermarket pipes. It's easier to just ban motorcycles. We're probably less than .5% of the vehicles on the road. Not a whole lot of people are going to pushback.
On most all modern bikes, mufflers use harmonic resonance cancelation to quiet the sound meaning they don't decrease performance much at all. Yes the exhaust is usually heavy because OEM needs to make it robust enough that it won't rot out or be damaged easily. So yes, you can shed a few pounds by going aftermarket but you typically aren't going to see much of a power gain.
On the other hand I absolutely love the sound of a good exhaust system on a well tuned bike, it is music to my ears. However I also value being able to start my bike at midnight and pull out of my neighborhood and no one hears me.
The biggest mistake I see riders make is riding their bike like they are in a car. What I mean by this is if you assume no one sees you you're ten steps ahead. I have been riding street for over 20 years, yes I've had people pull out in front of me, I've had people change lanes into my lane, I've had all the normal crap car drivers do to bikes, however I wouldn't call any of them close calls. The reason is I just assume everyone is trying to hit me, when a car pulls up to a crossroad I just go ahead and assume they are going to pull out in front of me, so when they do I'm not panic reacting. Next time you go for a ride, change your mindset; rather than thinking "I'm on a bike, people better pay attention and look out for me". Try using the mindset I am completely invisible, just assume everyone is going to pull out in front of you. Don't ride in a car's blind spot and then be surprised when they change lanes into you.