Elance has made some changes to their changes, a play that may or may not have been choreographed in advance. The raise in prices now doesn't sting quite as much as it did when the price hike was even higher. It's a great psychological ploy for the writers, who are having their prices raised more than other providers and who have been the most vocal complainers.
It remains to be seen how high the prices will really be, as the main hike will be in what it costs to bid on projects, and many providers are leaving the site. It may be that with fewer providers, fewer bids will have to be placed and the price won't be as bad as it now seems. It may also be that they will use the increased fees for marketing, bring in more providers and the cost will continue to rise for providers. I am not taking on new Elance clients right now, so I am not as worried as I would have been a year ago. But for the people who make most of their living through Elance, and there are many of them, this must be a nasty blow.
If anyone were to create a site that had the customer service and free bidding of RAC and the range of projects of Elance, they will have created a super-site with the potential to drive all other sites out of business, take over the world and colonize new planets.