A "online" friend of mine has just launched a new free gift site network called RewardLadder. Right now, he just launched a free Ipod site but he tells me he plans to open many more over the next few months.
My friend essentially looked at what was wrong with current sites (and why many are closing) and came up with a twist on the standard approach.
Essentially, you get points for all the offers you complete (and all your referral downline) and at the end of each month, he plans to take all advertiser revenue and order as many gifts as possible and them allocate them to members with the top number of points. From my understanding, it doesn't mean you need to complete many offers but if your referrals are really active, then your number of points could add up really quick.
His approach of giivng away his revenues to top ranking members ensure that the network does not loose money and thus should keep going for a long time.
Also, although there isn't as many "trial" offers on the site, there is a much greater variation of offers (and he says that more are comming) but the offers range from gambling, to satellite TV, efax and even a bunch of shopping related offers where you get points for each dollar spent at some of the big online stores (he even has the Sony online store listed).
Anyways, i've included my link above. There is also more info on his main website at http//www.RewardLadder.com
Interesting approach, but i doubt it will fly. Not many people like the idea of doing a site, and not knowing how or when (if ever,) they will get their item.
But then again, execpt with Gratis and OC, what are the garantees you'll ever get your gift. With his approach, gifts are given based on revenue and user contribution not on the assumption that most users will fail to complete their referrals.
I myself got screwed out of my PDA at COOBRO, would rather do my friend's site than another "maybe you'll get something" site like COOBRO.