I found usenet very confusing. I looked into it for the reasons you listed above. I had a little success with it but never really understood how it worked. I subscribed to news groups and downloaded a newsreader but had a very hard time finding files and bringing it all together. I tried finding someone to help me get started but no one I knew was familiar with it.
Loc: Seneca Falls, NY
Yea it is kinda knew I have been reading they are using it in the UK alot http://www.gigatribe.com is one client that I know of. There is more but I don't know about them, or even this one for that matter LOL. If you find out more let me know ovidian.