When I lived in Alabama, I carried frequently. Mostly if I was going out after dark. In the day time, in the area I lived in, you were as safe as you could be anywhere. Most of the time I carried a SA .45 loaded compact in a SOB holster. It worked well, and was very comfortable. I think I carried all of my pistols at one time or another, if only to see how they'd feel as a carry gun. I even carried my big 'ol .44 Magnum on a few occasions (loaded with Specials since I wasn't anticipating an attacking bear).
The closest I ever came to presenting it was when several drunk rednecks decided they wanted to beat on me and a buddy because we had gone to a different high school. After saying "hey, I'm not looking for any trouble" and getting "well, it looks like you found some", I moved my shirt to the side so they could see the butt of my HK .45. I repeated that I wasn't looking for any trouble. They decided to call it a night after that.
Had it been 1 on 1, or even 2 on 1, I would have just taken the chance of an asswhipping. But 7 on 2, and all of them bigger than me and I was scared.
Since I moved to Texas, I've not bothered to get a permit, and don't carry. It's much more expensive, you have to burn a day off doing a class, and classes are almost always when I'm working. Maybe some day.