Global variables are not bad. People who use global variables badly are bad.
Your queasy feeling may be in response to a conditioned knee-jerk negative reaction to global variables that seems to pervade this field. I don't know where it all started, but my first CS professor pounded the idea into our heads that globals are unequivocally bad. Experience taught a different lesson.
Fortunately BrowserUK, JavaFan and others provide a voice of reason in this thread. Its not the globals themselves, but how and where you use them that can cause problems. Properly applied globals can be powerful and avoid unnecessary complexity. But like other aspects of programming, proper usage requires some degree of thought and discipline.