I think it's pretty interesting that Crazy Poker has been the first site to basically break ranks and say the hell with it, offering players a direct 33% monthly rakeback. It was pretty inevitable that someone would eventually do that, what with all the rakeback deals floating around, and just cut out affiliates from the loop.
Which is pretty smart, as much as it pains me to say it, as it won't affect their bottom line that much, as it basically just shifts what they pay affiliates to players instead. Doubt it'll affect the overall situation that much, as other second and third tier sites have tried similar things, and remained second and third tier, but it'll be interesting to see if it'll accelerate the inevitable trend of successful sites being forced to work harder to satisfy players, as far as offering unique and compelling player loyalty and rewards programs. There's only so long you can continue to throw beanies and t-shirts at people and expect them to be happy, especially when other sites are offering much more tangible rewards.