since we all, including me, came down hard on payperpost, i think something needs to be said sort of in the favor of such things - sort of.
i am very sympathetic to the problems involved in getting out the word about a good product.
it seems to me we live in an internet age where getting recognized and getting the word out about something is totally irrational. most of the time it seems like luck, connections, and money play the dominant role.
if you have good connections in high places, people will post about your software or service because they know you, and because you asked them to.
if you have money to burn, you can advertise your way into peoples awareness.
if you get lucky, someone will mention your site and you could get slashdotted or on dig, etc. if you happen to catch people's eye on a given day.. everyone will check out your stuff. if not, it sinks into oblivion. scary.
anyway, so while the idea of paying for someone to write good things about a crappy product sounds really evil to me, i can see someone who has made a really good product just saying, hey i'm willing to pay someone for their time to come CHECK OUT AND TRY my product. to me, that is something that makes some sense, you are basically saying "hey i have something great but no one is bothering to try it - i'm willing to put up some money to pay for your time so that you at least give it a try." of course with payperpost they are being paid to write good stuff, so there is a strong motivation to slant any opinions to the positive side. so it seems very prone to abuse. but still with some disclosure i'm just saying i can see how it wouldnt always be unethical.