Norton is the joke...
I'll run with the idea that norton is the best...
I had a system prtoected by AVG, it reports not virii.
I installed and scanned with norton, it reports no virii, so AVG is at least as good as norton. (definitions database is of around the same size).
The only difference between norton and AVG that I noticed was the installation of extra downloader software (live update). massive amounts of available memory being used (noticable in the task manager).
and a huge amount of registry keys left cluttering my system after I deleted it.
I don't want to change your opinion,
Your answer to the orignial question,
which is best Mcafee VS. Norton VS. ZoneAlarm?)
however I says that whilst Norton may be best of that rather limited bunch it is also the most expensive, and stil not the best AV in the world.
All points in this thread up to date (for best AV) are only opinion...
frankly there no credible links or evidence to support claims of best...
nothing short of an uninterrupted video of a virus not detected with one and then detected with another will be convincing.
as for package fotprints, I could reinstall norton and post comarative resource use figures, but I'd only be accused of doctoring them...
What we need is an impartial site with real credible stats on it.