"Have you ever noticed that many fictional prostitution stories are about a "happy hooker", but most news stories about prostitution involve gangs, enforced-poverty, slavery, under-age sex, abuse, drug-taking or people-trafficing? I wonder which reflects reality the most accurately? Does anyone think this would change by legalising a bit of it?"
News, especially bad news, is a sensationalised commodity. Paedo child killer is front page news. Motorist child killer is a statistical footnote. Prostitution may be linked with the activities you mention, but is that because it is criminalised and driven underground? Put it on a legal footing and it becomes much harder for pimps and drug dealers to control and profit from it.
"Banning prostitution isn't about wagging the finger at prostitutes, its about protecting those who would otherwise feel obliged to do things they don't want to do."
I don't really want to have to work for a living, what obliges me to do it is the need to provide for my family. I don't buy into the "Happy hooker" myth, but adding the constant fear of prosecution is hardly going to help those who feel obliged to do something they don't want to.
"Some people think that sex is so special that you shouldn't have to do it you really don't want to."
Some people think sex is so special, you should hardly do it at all, and certainly not for fun.
"Some people think that profiting from other people having sex when they don't want to, might also be wrong."
Some people think the best way to prevent this is to make it legal for sex workers to ply their trade in a safe, controlled environment.
"'Legalise, regulate, tax' makes each one of us a pimp."
Cigarettes and alcohol are legal, regulated and taxed. Does this make us a nation of drug pushers?