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Newsgroups postings and discussion postings on poorly moderated discussion boards invariably contain spam from competitors and pro-postings from "friends" but you can usually detect a trend.
WMW being one of best moderated boards on the Net, has great credibility for objective info. Thats why searching here is the first stop.
As the author of a commercial cloaking software product, my views may be a little biased, but here's my opinion.
Cloaking software itself doesn't improve rankings on any search engine. If the promotional copy of the website is telling you that, then take it with a grain of salt. All cloaking does is show different content to different users based on IP address and/or User Agent info. It can and usually is used to show optimized web pages to search engine spiders and the home page to human surfers.
If this is what you want to do, and you think spending the money is worth it, then go ahead and buy it. Or find a shareware version of cloaking software and try it out. I've found that most commercial cloaking packages do what they are supposed to (see above), so I think you're OK going with any package. The thing to consider is the level of service you'll receive after you make a purchase.