I want to apologize in advance if this has already been addressed, but I don't have time to read all the responses.
I don't know what to say about people who choose to formula-feed from the get-go and don't even try breastfeeding. To be honest, I was one of those once. With my first, I was working full time while I was pregnant and bottle-feeding was the norm among my circle of friends. I think one woman I worked with pumped and she did that in the bathroom. I knew I wasn't going back to work but I also saw bottle-feeding as the norm and breastfeeding as just something uber-crunchy granola people did, kwim? It actually took people trying to feed my baby - "here, I'll give him a bottle while you relax." I got some darn sick and tired of people trying to take my baby from me AND the whole cold kitchen floor to get a bottle in the middle of the night....and some of the inconveniences of lugging bottles and formula everywhere... it took all that to convince that breastfeeding IS better.
Of course, little did I know that I would have a medical condition that would make breastfeeding difficult, at best. I have a hormone imbalance resulting in super-high estrogen levels (I'm VERY fertile!), however, estrogen suppresses prolactin so my prolactin levels are super-low. My body literally does not produce.
With my 2nd child, I nursed her for 3 months and then couldn't go on. With my 3rd child, I used the SNS for a year, then continued to nurse and supplement with solids and cups of water until she was 2.
I'm dealing with this again with my 4th (and last) child. I've gone through prescription meds (both legal in the US and those I've ordered from overseas), at least 15 different herbs and combinations, teas, lactogenic foods, and the LC from h@ll. I've bought 4 SNS units (full size), various sizes of tubing and extra tubing for when the tubing breaks or snaps, a lact-aid, 6 breastpumps. I'm still holding out - using the SNS, but my patience is wearing thin. I'm stretched to my limit - I'm nearing the breaking point.
So...am I CHOOSING to formula feed. Maybe yes - I am making a choice not to go through breastfeeding-h@ll. But at the same time I feel forced.
If someone who didn't know me from adam saw me at the mall and saw me formula feeding they might assume I was uneducated, pressured by formula advertising, and not wanting to do what is best for my baby. That person wouldn't know my history. They wouldn't know that I AM educated, I buy formula out of necessity (not because they advertised in a magazine or gave it to me for free), and without it, my baby would die.
I think if you look at every mom who you see formula feeding from that perspective, it can help not to condescend.
Now, if you have a friend and you are both informed and that person still choose formula feeding over even trying to breastfeed, I don't know what to say. Just still try to be supportive. Encourage "bottle nursing" (I don't have time to explain, but look it up on google). Encourage a good bonding experience even with a bottle. I think someone can be AP and still bottle feed.