FranticFish - 12:22 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)
EMD's will not rank alone without lots of support
Not my experience, and not what I still see in the UK despite Google's update on EMDs. With even semi-decent content, in a small local market such as the one enquired about you have a huge advantage.
Just recently I changed one EMD on an OK term (.com) to another the client forgot they had on a better term (.co.uk)
Domain had never been used, just the existing and not very special links (now 301'd, not yet switched) to the old site together with the new domain sent it straight in at number one, where it's stayed since. It's not a competitive term by any means, but he trebled his traffic from the switch within a week.
Plenty of his competitors are also ranking very well with networks of EMDs and crappy/spun content.
I'm not advocating a network of sites, but I believe that unless you have a client who is going to work with you to get some great content together to get good links with, then EMDs and average links and OK content is quicker, easier and cheaper.