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Does anyone have any experience with any that they can suggest?
Best approach in my view would be to search for your company name within quotes in the major search engines.
I currently use that technique. I guess I am just looking for something a little more automated to notify me so that I only have to pay attn to something when I get a notification instead of crawling all day to find things.
You can see who is linking to your site using Yahoo. Type in "linkdomain:example.com" and then select show inlinks except from this domain.
Server logs are valuable for what's happing right now. Get access to the logs for your website and look at referring sites. Those are the people who are linking to you - a look at the pages that are linking will show the sentiment.
Otherwise what you are doing seems sensible. It's difficult to automate, but there's no need. Sentiment doesn't tend to change in a week or a month, and all those things can be tackled in an hour or two.