After reading this <a href=http://www.elance.com/p/corporate/community/resource-center/elancer-oct-06.html">news article, (funnily enough through my RSS feed of digg.com's programming section) I decided to sign up for a month to see what Elance.com was like.
Basically Elance is a community to bring together people who want to do work and people need work doing. People or companies post projects in the various categories and then service providers must make proposals, the most impressive being likely to get the contract. Posting projects is free and the charges are made to the people providing the work at a rate of 8.75%.
This seems quite costly for the freelancers, expecially seeing as you have to pay to subscribe as well, but as a trial I'll try and complete projects at cost and not make a profit.