This is an interesting subject. I don't mind the sting of a paintball or two, it just heightens the tension that extra measure. I don't like getting hosed at close range by a ramping rope of hurt.
I think the no break = stay in rule causes more problems for rec players than it solves. I leave the field if I feel a hit or even if another player feels strongly that they hit me. I'd rather have fun than win.
I'm typically outgunned with nothing but my T8 and a training knife so I armor up. Helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and soon some sort of chest and thigh protection. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of playing only with people I know. I'd rather be safe than bleeding.
I think bounce padding is bad for sport but in a game of honor amongst friends it shouldn't ever be an issue. Fat people get more bounces than lean. Maybe I just need another sandwich to be competitive.