Well I have been using E-bay from roughly after they started (originally called Auctionweb). I Have perfect feedback (wow, I know, you all are impressed now!) I have about 400 transactions (4 bad ones in 15 years.. 2 i got my money back, 2 i did not). Here I will impress you more.. Ebay stands for Echo bay (the consulting firm of the guy who started it). Ok ok... I have more but wont bore you with it.
I am a bit confused by the original posters comments. Ebay verify? My account was set up years and years ago. Isnt a Ebay varification just to make sure you have the correct EMAIL address? Ebay doesnt handle the money (well, yes they do as they have bought PAYPAL (didnt used to be) and its owned by them now, but they are still seperate) so other then knowing your correct info what else is there? or does a new account nowdays include Paypal too as its basicly the way to pay on Ebay?
As for PAYPAL, now I know they need to verify with money transfers and such, not a quick process, if you where tyring to get it done fast, not going to happen. it takes a few days, I'm sure you would get the run around if you tried to speed it up (that would be like asking your bank to speed up the loan process, they deal in a huge volume of people, you just have to follow the presudures they have set up).
I myslef am not a fan of PAYPAL, they appear to be covering your butt from a bad deal, but in reality they only cover it if there is some way for them easily to get the money back (hence they prefer varified accounts, they have your info so they can get teh money back). PAYPAL is just an easy way to exchange money online, its no protections.
Ebay is an AUCTION site, and has all the rules of an AUCTION. you see it (pictures or discription) and decide how much you are willing to pay. You got to a farm auction and buy and old non running car and talk to the farmer and he says ti ran great 5 years ago... your taking a chance he is lying or telling the truth, Ebay is no different. the lure is finding somthing cheap or somthing you cant find elsewhere, if that is worth it or not is up to each of us.
With the net and google nowdays there is almost nothing you cant find someplace. You can skip Ebay pretty easy nowdays, but 10 years ago.. your options where alot more limited (and just a fun fact, Ebay deals where 100% better, nowdasy ebay is pretty much cost on stuff, sad really).
I'm not for or against Ebay.. I enjoy the deals and not so deals i get...