I've used the Address Book intermittently for years, and never thought much about how bad it really is. Then, a month ago, I configured a Mac Mini for my mother. I could tweak most of the key applications to be usable, but the Address Book was intractable. There's no configuration of the icon bar, it doesn't "remember" the single card UI preference, the Mail.app integration is memorably bad, and it basically fails every usability test one can imagine. It stinks. The best I could do was tweak the insanely complex and backwards default input template.
Then I bought a Motorola RAZR, implemented a brilliant hack that lets it work with iSync, and discovered it could hold a mere 500 addresses. I needed to do some major maintenance on the 1600 addresses I have in Address Book. It was horrible.
There's no way to bypass the 'are you sure' delete confirmation (option delete doesn't work). There are no sorts, no filters (unless you use Apple's almost undocumented Automator tool -- the one with the web page that says "an error occurred while processing this directive") -- precious few ways to help with selecting 500 rows of 1600. It's very easy to double click and open ten address views -- all of which must be closed. It's easy when command-clicking to accidentally lose all selections. It's not good for one's blood pressure.
Address Book is
More on the DarkSeid later, I have to see what I can do with Automator. I'll also be looking for alternative UI solutions that can work with the Address Book data structures. Updates pending.
Update 1/13/07: In all my research, amongst which I learned about Automator and did some more AppleScript work, I discovered the Address Book includes Smart Groups. Which goes some way to redeeming it.