I see a host of complaints about the quality of the books from 1st Books. Do you know that 1st Books and Booklocker both use the same printer, Lightning Source, to produce their books?
They both have the same poor quality, but it stems from a poor choice of printer rather than an indictment of Print On Demand technology.
I was at a conference recently and saw a POD printer test where the same title was produced digitally, and offset. Out of twelve people who tried to pick which book was offset, and which was digital, while I was there, only two got it right.
I was one of the ones who got it wrong, and it showed me that when done right POD is every bit as good as offset.
Maybe companies like 1st Books and Booklocker will spend less time trying to dupe authors, and more time improving the quality of their product.