I got back last night from a business trip to Florence, Kentucky. Despite the additional cost of checked bags ($25 per bag on Delta), the current TSA security makes the spendthrift option a much more attractive one.
What happens if I try to take my bag through the line? Liquids in containers no more than 3 oz., all in a one-quart bag. Make sure you take the damn thing out of your suitcase so they can inspect it. Laptop? Take it out of the case. And so on and so on, whatever new policy they think up that day for that airport. Not that all the other indignities we’re put through make us any safer.
By the time I get off the plane and get to the baggage claim, the wait for my bag is rarely more than a couple of minutes. My experience is that it takes just as long for me to claim it in the jetway. I’m not going to use my laptop anyway; I bring a book to read instead. So why should I have some TSA goon pawing through my belongings just so I can drag my suitcase through the airport?