I am rethinking the whole travel agent thing. I like to research travel myself and I thought I was saving money by doing so. Now I'm not so sure. The Agency biz was on the decline for the past few years but tha thas turned around. I attribute this largely to the mega amount of info that is online now. Who has time to sift thru it all? And booking online is not free. You still pay fees to Travelocity, etc. Plus, if something goes wrong on your trip, you can count on 2-3 hours of phone time figuring it all out. Not to mention the musak. I would rather let my agent deal with it.
The travel agents I attended seminars with at the NY Times Travel Show seemed genuinely interested in offering real value to their clients. Most were unsure how to do that Web 2.0 style and were there for ideas. But how do you find a good one? Unbiased towards certain destinations, etc.?