I have never had a newspaper subscription, but I have purchased them in the past when looking for a good deal on something and searched the newspaper’s website for classifieds. Both are equally terrible. No, I take that back. The online classified is much worse, because of its potential; you’d expect it to be at least usable.
Why don’t they offer some graphical advertisements on some sites? The images (or SWF files) could vary in size and shapes, of course. I know that I notice graphical advertisements immediately on a page, before I notice the ad words. If the graphical ads were contextual; then you’d have another great product. I wouldn’t mind them and sometimes might prefer them. Of course, I’m not talking about the stupid, annoying shoot the target ads.