Apparently Elance -- a freelance bidding site that I don't happen to subscribe to -- is changing the way they do things. Kathy Kehrli has written a nice little Screw You! in their honor.
If you are a member of Elance or are considering joining, I highly recommend reading Kathy's comments. Although Elance is claiming the changes will improve the site for everyone, it's quite obvious that only Elance itself will be benefitted.
Basically, the gist of Kathy's analysis is that Elance is effectively charging more and offering less... A lot less.
I'm not crazy about the idea of paying for work opportunities, myself. Some writers find that the work they get through Elance makes the membership fees worthwhile, but from what it sounds like, that may not be the case any longer.