Do Web Directories Work?

Lately there have been many online directories showing up. Newspapers are getting into the game by charging a hefty monthly fee for the privilege of their directory, with your listing, coming up high on the search engines. But are people using them to find you? I ask this because I tend to skip through the first few listings knowing they are directories to find a “real” website. I asked my wife what she does and she skips them as well. What about you? I think the jury is still out, but I’m starting to suspect that as the directories grow in listings, the more competitors will come on board and the more diluted it will become. Now I’m not saying don’t list in directories, I strongly believe the easier it is for a prospect to find you the better. Plus the more links coming into your website from external websites the better. I’m just wondering if the cost verses benefit is there and if the monthly fee can be spent differently. And there are free directories out there as well.