In the "organics" I noticed of all the top ten people who feature for internet/online marketing terms only Digino uses AW.
I'm familiar with the "don't get high on your own supply" thing, but didn't think it applied to SEM :-)
From my experience in Australia, working for a large SEM firm we had relatively low success when it came to using Adwords and talking about SEO related terms.
I think for the most part many users know the difference between SEO and PPC, especially those who are looking for SEO / SEM as a service and often nothing speaks better than practice what you preach, ie: top search results on the organic side of things.
I also think alot of search engine optimisation people don't actually understand PPC. I know it sounds crazy but it really is a seperate field, I was lucky enough to learn SEO and then PPC myself but many of my colleagues didn't understand PPC, although I did try to keep them clued in.
Its hands on experience more than anything though with PPC.
I think as the Irish market matures and catches up with say the UK, US and even Australia you will notice more using Adwords.
Scalability. (In our case anyway).
It's a good thing and a bad thing.
Also, from our previous experience, the volume of leads is pretty low. Due diligence is more important when you're parting with 5k-10k a month.
Well my received wisdom was that AW was "per se" useful for branding purposes....
I've had a look over at G.co.uk/US G.com and it seems to be much the same thing, no-one who's in the SERPs uses AW even to target more focused PPC/AW terms.
If the practitioners don't use AW it strikes me that either the cost to target any related term is crippling, or AW may not be as effective as it's made out to be :-)
PPC for B2B in our experience is usually less effective than using it for B2C. (will I regret saying that?)
I'm not saying it's impossible to make it work at all, but in general it's a lot harder to make it work. More due diligence generally goes into a b2b purchase. With PPC, ultimately the advertiser(s) pay for that.
I definitely noticed that different industries produced different results. Some business models are very hard to define in terms of KW's themselves and sometimes search volumes are so low that you just can't capture enough interest.
In that kind of situation, banner advertising or using the content network might be much more worthwhile.
I think one of the major problems SEO / PPC companies make is that they use too much industry jargon on their landing pages. Many businesses do not understanding the terminology understandably and therefore you can only really apply to a small minority.
Explain it in business sense profit for small amount of money and you might have more success.
So if a term is competitive enough there's little even an experienced practitioner can do to keep the CPC "reasonable"?