I'll go along with jtara on the above point, but I would not pay for search results (isn't that just another revenue model anyway?)
Let's take it a step further. How about something beyond search. Some form of search has been a de facto standard since the days of Mosaic. It's been refined, expanded, exploited, monetized, criticized, spliced, diced and debated. But we all still search... and some of us complain. (BTW: I've also heard good things about Ask recently)
Is there a better way? Probably, but nobody's thought of it yet. Search isn't fully evolved either, but that's no reason to stop thinking about other ways to analyze, sort, organize, relate and deliver data.
I've always (well, for the last 10 years or so) thought that search, be it a human index or computer algo, was somewhat sloppy. I think about it maybe twice a week but haven't come up with a workable replacement. I have no doubt that somebody will, some day.
Maybe this Jimmy Wales is on to something, maybe not, but I do think we should applaud his initiative and see what he and his team comes up with. Another search engine would be, well, another search engine. Here's hoping they think outside the box.
Also, webwork's call to arms on page 1 of this thread is spot on. The people who create the pages should benefit, not some mega-corporation. But that's another story.