I'm fully aware that concrete scientific data may not exist on this topic but I feel that the question at hand won't all boil down to opinion. Either way, with the rampant increase in sophistication of malicious software, how effective have anti-malware and antivirus vendors been at combating these threats?
To further explain, if I run a full scan with the top software currently in the industry, such as Kaspersky, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (with the anti-rookit functionality), BitDefender, ESET NOD32, and Avira to name a few, and they all come up as clean, can I truly feel safe? Is 'undetectable' (as in through traditional mediums) malware possible?
A lot of the things I do as a hobby involve viruses, worms, trojans, and the like. There's been times where I've been worried that my main machine is compromised but all major vendors report no threats so I've trusted that blindly. I think that this may be a mistake.
Keep in mind that the question has nothing to do with the actual ability to removal said infection, just with the ability to detect it. This also isn't a self-help post but logical, non-subjective suggestions are more or less welcome.