As for affiliates, don't count on it. More states taxing, and more companies excluding states.
That tax isn't that bad. my main affiliate product have a ton of tax. State tax, town tax, and accommodation tax. totalizing around 18% "seriously" but i still make money.
I think the solution is instead of whining about panda and claiming the online world is dead, you need to think in the eye of the new user expectations.
I've been adding more videos, pictures, and extras to engage those user, and placing ads and affiliate offers around then and it's been working.
I also separate church and state LMAO. instead of of trying to monetize within content people land on. I created a separate section just for purchases "Store/shop". visitor who are looking to buy visit the Store/shop and buy.
one page i had which was my largest lander did great with adsense and affiliate offers, now it sucks, but since putting an in house ad for videos with an ad for the New Store, click to the store have increased and purchase have also.
when people are landing Google is almost knocking the "Buy Now" out of them, you have engage them, then remind them.
Passer by clicks are going away, and they should.
Exit clicks are going away, and they should.
Google is changing the exceptions and the user base is getting smarter. You know have to have more then just traffic to make money. You need to learn how to sale/market.
The glory days are gone for the lazy webmasters.