I love ad words select because for me it it is literally more than 20 times cheaper than Overture, and, most important, it rewards *good content* over the ability to simply buy a higher listing.
My ad gets ranked higher than somebody willing to pay more because I get clicked more because my ad is actually on topic, while the guys willing to spray money around are being sneaky and deceitful.
I think Ad Words Select is a tremendous program that works dramatically in the favor of small businesses with targeted markets. In an area like "books" Amazon can bury everybody on Overture in every subcategory but on Google Amazon couldn't bury a company called something like "Film Noir Booksellers" on a search for "film noir books". The better, more specific, more on topic listing *would* be seen and would get clicks.
[Bracket] your keywords, put in a bid one penny above the minimum, and actually have a truly good, on-topic ad, and ad words is a great program.
I'm guess that people who aren't happy with ad words select aren't using it properly or are kidding themselves on their appropriateness for the keywords.