After my ChaCha post I was “pinged” by Ask.com director and librarian extraordinaire Gary Price who pointed out that he had previously written a post about online Q&A services and library based virtual reference services here.
I just tried the AskNOW service (one mentioned in the second post) and had a good experience. Total elasped time was about 12 minutes, but I was doing other things at the same time.
AskNOW and some of the other library related services mentioned by Gary aren’t able to provide things like restaurant recommendations. But they can point to sites and databases that do offer the information.