Dusted off my old stand-by - that freebie I started with last year.
And because of it's simplicity, it runs faster and just gets the connection. Now, I also have it only on top Alexa/Google Page Rank sites, so you can assume they have ample bandwidth. (Unlike some of those PR0 sites which said "Bandwidth Exceeded" - no doubt run from someone's basement bedroom...)
Now sign up still requires you to do a lot of manual editing. Since I've already gotten most of these sites up earlier, this isn't a big deal - as it would be for someone getting this running the first time.
But this is certain. The other two (paid-for) programs would hitch and hit that "refresh-needed" screen way too often.
So I'll continue with this research and see how this goes.
Again, the plan is that I have/will shortly have three separate A/R series to support with article marketing - so I need to get out 5 articles each, or 15 total. Current strategy is to work at submitting only to the highest ranking sites, in order to get around 50% or more of the traffic. These articles I submit then (according to various promotion I've seen) then profligate through the rest of the article marketing universe through their RSS feeds (and the hunger of these also-ran wannabes to get the fresh stuff).
Simply, I can't spend hours each week (I have only around 25 to invest) making sure articles are submitted. I have to get them out the most effective way possible, so that they will reach the widest possible audience.
This is using the Long Tail in reverse - hopefully, these top article directories enable people in those niches to search their own area. It certainly has helped me to narrow down on article marketing and research for commonalities in this area.
Now the interesting thing is that you can afford to eliminate those "top sites" which are so eccentric or super-friendly (one would only accept HTML code) and just stick to the ones which follow the most common. You think this is counter-intuitive? Well, to a degree it is. But look - these directories are there because people link to them, not be cause they are easy to use. So far I've only found two which really needed deleting - out of more than 20.
So this task is remarkably simpler.
More soon on what I've found.