I use the illegit services very
sparingly these days, usually to find something I probably couldn't buy if I wanted to (live songs, radio station appearances, out of print stuff).
Michael Palmer (whom I missed seeing when he was in San Francisco yesterday due to some bizarre phone mishap) got me hooked on Epitonic
. I download a couple of songs a day there now. It's a great indie, semi-indie, and experimental/ambient site.
I've been thinking about subscribing to Emusic, but as you pointed out, it's a goldmine for jazz, something I'm not directly
interested in. In general, I find the jazz aesthetic approach (the drum styles, the guitar tones, the song structures, etc.) to be mind-numbingly unbearable, sort of like the grossly misnamed genre of Easy Listening. I appreciate the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic ideas of jazz, but I can't stand the typical jazz "setting". That's why I like Tin Hat Trio so much, and David Grisman, and even Django.
I may subscribe as I learn more about music theory and improve my ear, because I'm sure it's an awesome source for study material.
I wouldn't even mind the lack of liner notes, really: I hardly have time to read them anymore. I still have a Fleetwood Mac boxed set and a Tom Petty boxed set waiting to have their liner notes read...