If you needed some sort of evidence that PDF product for role-playing games are a force in the industry, consider this: there are currently nearly 18,000 products available on the web's largest friendly local gaming shop, DriveThruRPG.com. Over 1,000 of them are absolutely free to download. Characters, adventures, maps, out of print items, errata... the list goes on and on. Their catalog grows every day, and last time I checked, my neighborhood wasn't booming with gaming shops, friendly or otherwise. Then again, I live in Dallas, which is a gaming wasteland, so maybe my perspective is skewed.
The conversation over the benefits and pitfalls is a long and tedious one. How many gamers really roll dice with a computer in front of them? Will people buy something that they can download illegally for free? Are gaming companies better off going high end with glossy pages and hard covers? I have my own opinions on where digital downloads play in all of this, as I'm sure you do as well.
Let's discuss some of the high and low points.