It is hard to bet against the .com extension. Even the most strident supporter of alternate GTLD's and CCTlds will concede that the .com extension's brand power is hard to undo. Too many sites have been built there, too much money has been spent on global branding. Think of every business card in your Rolodex, every yellow-pages ad, every billboard, bus-bench, TV and radio spot. Dot Com (and the CCTld of the Non-US Country you are in) bubbles-up through the collective conscience of all people who think: "Internet".
Funny thing is, a lot of poignant, generic .com names don't get very much organic type-in-traffic each (considering how meaningful they are). Take a name like CrossStitchPatterns.com. That name has enormous resonance. While you and I may not be logging on anytime soon to seek out Cross Stitch Patterns; in the Month of February, 9010 people searched for that phrase across Yahoo's network. That's more than 300 people a day seeking out that search phrase at assorted third party search-pages powered by Yahoo (and at Yahoo.com itself). Compare that to the 4 unique type-in visits a day this name generated on its own.
Don't cry the blues for the name's owner. 4 consistent type-in visits each day on a generic name like that is actually quite good. These visits come for free, without referrer -- based purely on type-in to the address bar as a result of this name's meaning and resonance. You can not get less visits to this name as none come via the search engine, the only way is up.
So I searched "Cross Stitch Patterns" at the leading search engine and noticed the paid search advertising on the right side. These are advertisers who want to buy traffic under the matching cross stitch key-phrase. As I reviewed the URLs of the advertisers, none of them contained "Cross Stitch Patterns" .. we have michellesneedlecrafts, adventures-in-stitching but no exact match for the search string. What do you suppose would happen if I advertised my URL under the key-phrase that matches the name? Well, I tried it and I found that because my URL matched the key-phrase people were searching for, I had to bid less for traffic. People were more apt to click on a link when it matched the URL.. and the power of .com just reaffirmed to Jane Public that she had found the market leader. The same psychology that makes a great domain name get organic type-in visits, helps the advertised URL to get the attention of the shopper in a search marketing setting. It is difficult to change human behavior.
I went through this little dog and pony show to illustrate my belief that in a few years time the worlds largest SEM, traffic arbitrageurs will be those who own large portfolios of type in traffic domain names with high Overture counts (keyword apart). Why? Because if you get four organic visits across hundreds of thousands of domain names, you will be in a far better position than a naked arbitrageur to take-on a few thousand arbitrage plays paying 35cents at Google and selling to another market/advertiser for as low as 35.5 cents .. The naked arbitrageur without the type in traffic domain portfolio has no cash-flow driver to prime the pump and compete at lower margin levels. It would drive them out. Couple that lack of organic cash-flow with the fact that the keyword-weight of high search-volume domain names will always help their owner to draw more clicks in an arbitrage setting (and ultimately pay less for traffic because search algo's reward sites drawing more clicks) and you can see why I say; the house always wins. Buy generic keyword domain names with type in traffic (and high "apart" search counts, cuz that's where the searches/people are) and you 'become the house'.