It really is down to personal circumstances, I think.
I live in San Francisco. It's legally impossible for me to go strapped unless I get a TRO sworn out against someone. In New York I doubt I would even have that resort.
And so long as I live here, I don't really have a problem with this.
In the confines of a city, especially where the legal environment essentially dictates that I can't use deadly force outside my own home unless my assailant is literally on top on me, a firearm may actually be counterproductive compared to a knife or legal impact weapon (metal flashlight, pen, etc.).
For another good option with which I've elicited hearty laughs from local cops, see here, at the bottom of the page: http://fosterimpactdevices.com/
The one thing I carry everyday that makes a great impact device is this: http://www.countycomm.com/stainlesspen.html
Moreover, in NYC it's within the law to carry a fixed blade on your person so long as the blade is under 4 inches and you keep it concealed. Even with a recent crackdown on locking folders the small fixed blade loophole still exists. I don't think I'd need it most of the time, but when I go there a La Griffe is always in the checked bag or in summer, fedexed to the hotel ahead of me.
Some other places? Yeah, I'd go strapped. Cross Country Drive? Get an AZ Permit.