my parents and entire family are from eastern europe where furs aren't necessarily a status symbol or sign of luxury, but a cultural staple that served a very practical purpose for centuries. but i know that in this country fur=$$$ and status. but i can't ever think of it that way i guess. besides, hunting is a big part of my cultural heritage and when i was a kid, my dad did a lot of hunting and we had many hides, so it reminds me of that as well.
when i see fur, i think of my babcia (grandma). and she wasn't the upper east side fur wearing kind
I always thought Carrie on Sex and the City looked so cute in the fuzzy fur coat she wore quite a bit back in the day, it seemed vintage. I'm not a fur person myself, I think there are some beautiful designer pieces out there though and I've seen some faux pieces I would consider for myself.
Carrie looks amazing in those fur coats and J Lo probably has the best fur wardrobe imaginable. The dyed chinchilla is just amazing. Rhianna's coat is pretty cool too and Kate pulls off the vintage look very well with her furs. Eva's sable must cost $$$$$ (I think it is a Basso) and it looks great on her too.
MichelleAntonia - in Eastern Europe furs are literally everywhere I agree. I have visited Poland, Germany, Latvia, etc and it must literally be every third girl has a fur on. It gets so cold there that, as you say they are an essential item.