I just got a friendly message from someone with some info in it that I wasn't aware of (I must have been too busy trying to get from point A to point B to notice this -- which is entirely possible -- or else it just wasn't all that well publicized.)
"Mapqust had aerial maps (globexplorer) on their public maps 2 years before google even thought about maps...fair is fair"
I agree. Fair is fair. Thanks for pointing this out. And BTW, MapQuest was and still is great. In fact, I still use it occasionally for directions that involve driving out along some convoluted path in the middle of the city or out to some country road. Sometimes I find it still gives directions that are more convenient/accurate/clear than Google Maps...it's just that Google Maps interface that gets me hooked.