I went into one of my local bookshops last week to talk about them stocking my book, and ended up in a very interesting conversation about distributors. My local bookseller had had an argument with one of his distributors because the price they were selling him certain books at was undercut by Amazon. His view (unsurprisingly) was that he would not buy the book from the distributor if his customers could purchase it more cheaply from Amazon than he could buy it from the distributor at cost. Hence these particular books will not appear on his shelves, and the relationship between bookseller and distributor has broken down. Macmillan's distributor is not in this category right now, but it seems as though certain books may never appear in a bookshop but only online, as sellers would make a loss if they stocked them.
There is also an interesting article on Anita Davison's blog about the new Amazon digital text facility that allows anyone to upload a book to the kindle. You can find this on http://www.thedisorganisedauthor.blogspot.com/
Personally, the editing process has been of immense value to me - and I shudder to think of all those un-edited books available to buy online.....
I have to say, I myself do not think of Amazon only as the bad guy because I use it myself to get those obscure reference books not stocked by my local shop. In a small village like Windermere with an ailing Smith's and only one small bookshop full of tourist fodder and maps of the Lake District, this is often the case. And in a way, if non-fiction books that may not have a big market could be available on Kindle - that would be great, and I hope this is where its strength will lie. Those obscure titles by enthusiasts such as "The Westmorland Slate Mining Disaster" etc, that we novelists find so useful!