E-Scrooge.is - Exchange/Fund/Withdraw Bitcoin, BTC-e ...

My tale of unsuccessfully obtaining some Bitcoin

So I'm trying to get a small amount of Bitcoin to complete a purchase but everywhere I turn I run into problems.
Initially very promising, slick website, built in escrow system, lots of people selling in my local currency.
Outcome: people charging outrageous prices, minimum purchase amounts and in no way convenient. To get the best rates I need to purchase at least double what I want, go into a physical bank and make a cash deposit over the counter or go meet some random person. Reminds me of the bad old days of eBay before Paypal where scams were everywhere. Pass.
Logged in, despite sending my verification details a month ago my account is still not verified and I'm stuffed. Noticed the exchange rate is getting low too.
Initially also promising as a lot of people seem to use it here on /bitcoin. Sadly has the same type of verification process as MtGox that could take any amount of time and all the payment methods to get funds in are covered in warnings such as:
"In accordance with AML policy and requirements of W1 payment system, subsequent transfer of the funds to e-currency exchangers are prohibited. In case of non compliance with the policy account may be blocked until further investigation."
"ATTENTION: Due to the card issuer bank restrictions it is prohibited to pay for the OKPAY Card order and top-up by using the funds received from crypto-currency deposit or exchange."
Yeah that's not really filling me with confidence.
Hey this looks slick at least and they verify fairly quickly into an account that I can do stuff with. Their recent VC also gives me confidence. But to get funds in I have to link a bank account. Okay but I'm not one to trust my main savings account to such an activity which means I'll have to go down to my bank and open a new account up. Convenience factor just went way down and I'm not going to achieve my goal today with Coinbase.
So I stumbled upon a few websites:
http://www.weusecoins.com/en/getting-started
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Buying_Bitcoins_%28the_noob_version%29
etc..
Most of this information is either inaccurate or the websites they list have scam written all over them. Combine that will all the recent posts about scams, failed transfers, banks cracking down etc and I have to wonder why anyone bothers with cryptocurrencies aside from the recent hype.
The goal by the way was to purchase a game off someone. A transaction I can complete right now with any game shop dealing with USD in minutes. Two hours later and I'm still no closer to changing my cash into Bitcoin to make the transaction :(
I get why those who believe in Bitcoin do so, in many ways it reminds me of the Open Source/Free Software movement and if they do achieve their goals one day the world will be a better place. But the machine is never going to let this stuff fly beyond that of a hobby and I'm certain we are going to see tails of people getting seriously burnt in the next few months when the hype dies down and the man cracks down.
Can anyone point me to a serious, legitimate and convenient service to obtain Bitcoin that does not run a risk of simply losing my money without recourse before I get Bitcoin in my wallet? Something better then raise a ticket that may/may not get looked at anytime soon and may/may not result in a refund. All I seem to run into are scams and doom/gloom.
Edit: for those wondering, I'm outside the US. A large part of the problem seems to be the verification process, the reasonably (market) priced services all require verification and all have taken or take far to long to verify. The amount of info required is also concerning, I understand why they need it however the average joe who has heard about internet scams is very likely to be put off because of it.
What I believe is needed is a service not unlike Paypal. Fast and efficient, minimal info required, instant gratification and no need to get off my ass. I personally don't see the difference between spending a couple of hundred dollars online via Paypal vs any of these services despite how dodgy some of them appear.
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