I don't use trends too often, but if it's better, then that's good news.
You may have noticed it's easy to get tripped up measuring the wrong thing using Google Trends. When you look up "rice," are you measuring search interest in Rice University or the rice you eat? When you look up "Gwyneth Paltrow" how can you be sure you're counting all the common misspellings? Starting today, you'll find new topic reports to help you more easily measure search interest in the people, places and things you care about.Google Trends Gets New Topics and Improved Predictions [insidesearch.blogspot.com]
Now when you start typing into the search box you'll see new topic predictions. Type "rice" and you'll see predictions for "Rice University (University)" and "Rice (Cereal)." This makes it easy to do a fairer comparison.
I use it but I suspect too many other webmasters are either ignorant or too lazy to include this in their keyword research.
One of my favorite uses is when a client claims that my keyword research is flawed because it contradicts their pre-exisiting keyword priorities. Using this tool I can easily demonstrate why their keyword priorities are flawed and where better opportunities exist.