The YouWriteOn POD debacle shows no sign of cooling off, with some individuals making some pretty extreme and probably libelous accusations against the site and its founder, Ted, on the various message boards I visit. I don't want to add to it, there's enough hot air being expended already. But I will say this.
YWO was my first taste of an internet writers' site, and my experience of it was good on the whole. When I joined it had no forum to speak of so there was no "networking". The system seemed beautifully simple: post your work for review, and review other people's work. The positive feedback I got gave me the confidence to go on with my writing, and for that I am grateful to some lovely, well-meaning people.
The POD offer is free and no one is being forced to do it. In some cases, years of frustration and rejection have left people with no alternative. It's a free country (mostly) and they are free to choose that option. If it gives them the opportunity to see their work in print then good luck to them.