I do think that many writers can (and will) be published without agents. Finding that perfect fit, the agent whose understanding of both the market and your writing, is so challenging. Some writers seem to do it right out of the gate -- others move around a bit as their needs and wants change. And others...well, I really think that some writers will never find that perfect fit -- BUT that doesn't mean they won't be published someday (even successfully published in that they can make some sort of income). This is my hope, at least, because I've kind of given up on finding a good fit for myself with an agent. I have my top three or four -- agents who I've met or chatted with online -- agents where I've seen from their work with other writers that they have many of the professional skills I personally want. I like their taste in books and I like the way they do business...but they don't like my writing (not enough, at least).
*shrugs* Once upon a time, this really bothered me, but now I'm okay with it. I still write -- I might even submit to these agents again when I finish my current WIPs. We'll see...but when reading that thread on Verla's, I could feel what I think anonymous is feeling -- that longing to have someone in the business truly get your writing and LOVE it and champion it. Yeah, isn't that what we all want??
What say you?