I know you all aren't patent lawyers but maybe I am missing something obvious?
How do these sites get away with breaking Elance's patent U.S. Patent 7,069,242 [guru, scriptlance, vworker, peopleperhour]???
I know the patent is incredibly silly, it basically patents how you find a web designer in the real world into the web. Call them, tell them your project, and get their estimate, and then call others, and choose. It's almost like patenting how to tie your shoe: put on foot, lace up, tie laces.
Since this patent is so broad in process; does it even hold any water? Is that why these other sites are not scared to do it?