Paci use helps prevent SIDS, according to recent studies. I've read it's now encouraged for use from birth-6 months for that reason...assuming there's no problems with nipple confusion, etc.
And plus the sucking reflex is one of the few ways infants have to comfort themselves. Why do people discourage that? If a paci helps give comfort and does no harm then why not? I'm not a fan of watching five-year-olds pop binkies in their mouths, and I've heard prolonged use can interfere with language developement, but for established BF infants I say absolutely go for it. Anything that helps prevent SIDS, and makes baby feel better is a good thing in my book.
That said, I'm all for letting Winnie have a paci to comfort herself, but she is pretty disinterested in it beyond amusing chewing for a few minutes, and prefers the breast or her knuckles. But ever so often I try to re-introduce the paci (have tried two different types, the NUK latex and the Avent silicone -- neither seems preferable to her).
I think there's way too much guilt around paci use and that sucks. Ignore the hype and go with what makes your wee one smile.
ETA: It's also easier to break the habit of a pacifier than a thumb, according to my SIL. Just a thought...