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Bomba.com - Blue Widgets commercial exchange and widget resource.
Both have advantages. Both require brand building, one more than the other. Both might have type-in value, again this time the other wins.
How do all the characteristics balance? Which one do you prefer?
BTW, true branding is a tough thing to do... you can put a lot of "brand" out there, but unless people associate it with a positive experience over time with a product/service, it's really just colors and copy. What brands do you know off the top of your head? Why do you remember them? How many times and what contexts did you see that brand before you remembered it?
Just a few thoughts... 8-)
So it is possible. Even small sites can and should be branded.
Go with a branded domain that people can remember, rather than that keyword-domain-which-is-very-difficult-to-give-over-the-phone! ;)
If keyword domains still get a boost on some engines (I assume they do here and there, but I haven't tested it for a long time) it's nowhere near the kind of boost it was in the old days. However, the keyword may still help attract the click from the user.