I am brand new to airbnb, although I heard about this through a friend who has used it before. I am, however, an avid (although new) user of couchsurfing. For the times when I can't CS, I feel this is a great alternative. I have travelled all over, and for the most part, did it the traditional way and researched a hotel to stay in. I'd like to get away from that. I love the idea of staying in a place where real people actually live. Hotels are so impersonal and corporate, this offers a unique window into a place, whether it is just through an empty room that someone has offered up, or by possibly starting a new friendship!