That's the impression I get also (not going to read the whole thing tonight--it's after 1AM here).
I used to drink them avidly, but gave up soft drinks on anything like a regular basis about 10 years ago, mostly in reaction to my dentist's lecture on what an effective combination sugar, carbonation, and the acids formed when they're no longer under pressure make for destroying tooth enamel--not to mention how much it was costing me to get my teeth fixed. I think I'm even more glad now that I did.
(I also recall reading somewhere that warm Coca-Cola is a very effective spermicide. Anybody know whether this is true?)