I know I have been missing for a while but I hope that people continue to read now that I will be updating much more than I was before.
First, I have been checking out these search toolbars for earning miles. They are not terribly efficient but they do seem to be a good way to prevent miles from expiring and they seem to be excellent for making sure miles are awarded for shopping online. I have been using the one for American Airlines (or AAdvantage E-Shopping Toolbar as it is officially called) since June or so. It has been good and I have earned a few miles with it. Unfortunately though, something has gone horribly wrong since early November and getting it to credit miles for searching is quite difficult. It is very inconsistent and I have been corresponding with the Vesdia people to get it fixed but no luck so far.
In addition to American, USAir has been getting in on this strategy as well, found here. It is done by exactly the same company and you can get 500 bonus dividend miles just for signing up. As I said before, it is not the most effective way to earn miles but it could be useful for getting an extra 100 or so. Hey it is free, it is hard to complain about that.