There's been quite a bit of fuss over how good Wikipedia is recently, starting with Nature's study, which you can read here (word doc). Articles were compared between Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica, by a panel of experts, and although Wikipedia was found to have more errors that the Britannica, it was only slightly (average errors for Wikipedia - 4 per article, average errors for Britannica - 3 per article).

After the Nature piece was published, Britannica published this pdf as an advert (I think in the Times?), refuting the findings.

I thought that the Britannica "refutation" seemed pretty petty and nit picking, although I think Nature ought to make the data from the study publically available.

Then I found this and this on the Register, supporting Britannica against Nature. I usually like the Register, but found their claims of Nature's alleged bias somewhat hollow when they seem to have such a pro-Britannica bias themselves.

What do you all think? Is Wikipedia a great "collective intelligence" and internet phenomenon? Or is it just a rather crap encyclopedia that you should only use if you havn't got access to a "real" one, and everything in it should be taken with a very large pinch of salt?