I suspect there might be a lot of IFR-rated pilots who, like me, use the rating as an extra safety net, an added measure of utility for basically VFR flying under marginal conditions. And that was what I had in mind for my trip to and from Oshkosh last week. I had IFR flight plans prepared, but in the end, I opted for the added flexibility of flying VFR. On the way to Oshkosh, it was because I wanted to be able to adjust my route as necessary to stay clear of thunderstorms. I chose to take a southerly path from home base in New Jersey with the idea that I would cut north when XM Weather showed I could do so with at least 20 miles' buffer. I knew that good VFR conditions would prevail wherever the thunderstorms weren't, so it seemed like a good strategy. As it turned out, I was right, though I was also mentally — and financially — prepared to stop overnight and let the cold front pass over if the storms did not dissipate as forecast. In this case, the last three of the four big advantages to IFR were not a factor. First, I was well briefed on airspace restrictions, and was assured of good flight following availability to backstop my own data. I had high confidence that VFR conditions would prevail as long as I stayed far enough away from the storms. And as much as I would have liked the practice of filing and following IFR procedures, this time I was more concerned with completing the mission as expeditiously as possible.