Question for theists: (How) Do you reconcile the Problem of Evil?

More or less the biggest stumbling block between me and religion is the concept of a loving, just being ruling an uncaring, unjust universe. I’ve seen a few arguments about free will or not being given more than we can handle. They don’t fly for me.
So, to the religious, do you ever think about why there are unpunished evil people, and why God is so lax on the righteous smitings? Why there are plagues, earthquakes, floods, cancer, or France?

If you do, what is your response? This is more of a poll then a GD.
“I’m not sure about God’s plan. I’ll ask him in 80 years or so.” is an acceptable, albeit unsatisfying answer.

Some sort of blend, consisting of variable portions of:

-Some bad things are caused by third parties exercising their free will
-Some bad things are brought upon ourselves
-Shit happens (Ecclesiates 9:11)
-God may have a different perspective; we will all be dust in a few moments
-We don’t know the plan (or, arguably, that there is one)

See, I’m a big fan of the “shit happens” theory. Of course, I haven’t been “religious” for a good many years, but I was born and raised Catholic, and even in my most devout days, the fact that horrible things happened never gave me much trouble. Heaven is paradise, right? That’s where everything is good and clean and fun and nothing bad or terrible happens.

So, why shouldn’t it happen here? Adversity is what tests our faith and in struggling through that, what helps to bring us closer to (our concept of) God. Why SHOULD the universe be just and perfect? What would the point of that be? Where would the struggle to find, understand, accept, and love/hate God come from if everything was perfectly happy and peachy keen?

There’d be no point to our existance in this world without the crap that comes along with this world.