flack47 - 1:35 pm on Mar 27, 2007 (gmt 0) Sometimes you've gotta pull some secret agent stuff for ligit reasons.
I can't begin to say how many times a whois lookup has saved my hide when I'm transferring a domain from one registrar to another for a client.
A lot of the time, the client had previously gone through some dude in a basement to register their domain (not that there's anything wrong with working out of a basement. My office at work is in a basement of sorts). Anyway, they have this person register their domain, then the relationship disolves for one reason or another, and they decide that they want to transfer their domain and site hosting to us.
You can take a wild guess as to how helpful the previous guy is in the transfer. Using the whois to find out what email the domain has listed as the authority (luckily it's always been one of the clients') has helped us take control of domains that are basically being held hostage by disgruntled webmasters.
Sometimes you've gotta pull some secret agent stuff for ligit reasons.