Re: Am I alone
possibly yes ... the pixie dust booking.com (other travel sites are available) brings to the mix is the social - reviews and other information, which over time can be considered fairly trustworthy.
Travelling can be stressful enough. Start adding in another country, flying, different cultures and languages, and you might be happy to pay x% to somewhere like booking.com, if you trust the reviews. You also get the ability to comment on your own experiences.