I used the google book search for the first time today, I was doing some costuming research - undergarments in the early 1900's, especially for children. And the search works great and it's nice to see the books but I find it annoying that for most of the items scanned you see one or two pages and you have to "buy the book" or try and get it from a library.
Now I live in a small town and to say our library is atrocious is an understatement. Yeah, they have access to larger libraries through and interlibrary loan program but it's so damn slow you might wait two or three months for a book. Plus schlepping around with three kids, even two little ones, to grab books is so not fun.
The reason they give for all the pain-in-neckness is copyright law. I'm doing research, I just want to read it, look at the pictures - not print out 30 books in triplicate... ARGH It could be so damn useful but right now it's supremely handicapped.