You are right, NSAIDS are terrible on the long run, especially with GI issues.
Medical professionals argue that Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM/SAM-e are not cures for these problems, some studies prove them right and some otherwise.
But I choose to supplement with it them as a food supplement, as we may not be getting the necessary nutrients from our food, while still keeping an open mind to updates on their status on health and new products.
A friend of mine eats Lamb and Beef Feet (and oxtail) (he claims they are thoroughly cleaned and edible) and cooks them using a pressure cooker, mainly for the soup but he tells me that he feels his joints are solid for a good two days. I think I'll start with frozen oxtail from our local market... Not into the feet stuff.
Everyone should take care with ibuprofen and other NSAIDS other than for just muscular ache or transient inflammation. For acute injury it is very effective, but chronic use may be counterproductive. There are a number of studies over the last few years that show that these drugs slow healing of connective tissues such as tendons and cartilage (cox-2 inhibitors are even worse).
I stopped with semi-regular ibuprofen and went on Glucosamine and my twingy shoulder is much better now. Everyone over forty who does serious physically stressful work or exercise should seriously consider regular glucosamine. We stop making it (it is the nutrient used to grow new cartilage on the ends of growing bone in children and young adults) and so healing of those types of tissues is much slower unless you have supplements for what the fully adult body no longer produces.
Zinc is also very important for healing (and metabolism and immune function) and most people these days tend to be zinc deficient (that's mainly why zinc-based cold remedies work -- they provide in situ supplements for what the cells are systemically lacking).