I agree fake tans are not ideal, but anyone who thinks getting a 'base tan' so they don't burn is the way to go is just fooling themselves. Anytime there is darkening of the skin from being in the sun that means there is DAMAGE to the skin! You may not burn so fast but you are damaging your skin just the same.
I myself am lilly white and I think it is time to stop being ashamed of it! Stay pale and walk proud. You don't need a tan (fake or otherwise) to show off to people to prove what a great vacation you've had. Kudos to stars like Nicole Kidman who prove you can be pale colored and beautiful at the same time.