ssgumby - yes, and killing it. small and medium sized. we're certainly are not the only ones doing this. :-)
listen to pavkey88, it's great traffic, and you can do this yourself. PLAs are among the easiest PPC campaigns to run (assuming your feed is good - which should be the case if you used to get good uptake when it was free).
if PLAs are all you need, don't bother hiring any PPC agency. post here about what to do, best practices, the knowledge spilt here can take you a long way.
but if you'd rather lament about free vs paid, i can tell you how your progress will go. haha. sorry, i believe there is no try, thank to Yoda.