There is an awful lot more information on the actual Google blog, Danny Sullivan wrote a nice guide as well, and there's a Q&A with Google about it as well.
I've asked around and most general users don't seem to have even noticed it was there. My mum definitely has no idea what the whole thing is about, because she doesn't want to break anything, she isn't going to press on any of the buttons. The more savvy users right down to the programmers said they weren't bothered with it either.
I keep forgetting its there and so I haven't used it very much. I think that we would all begin to use it if we started to see the benefit. Sadly in order to see the benefit, you have to start using it!
Google said “It’s a new way to empower users. You can remember answers to repeat queries. It lets you add your personal touch to our algorithms” (See the Q&A doc).
I genuinely think it is indeed a tool to help you alter the results to suit your particular slant on a particular query. I also think it's a pretty cool way to collect a huge amount of user data and also human edited results provide more information on the authority of the resource.
Remember how we look at Social Media sites like Digg and said that the voting was warped because of it being so easy to manipulate? Well seeing this is in a "closed" environment, meaning that nobody else but you gets to see it, there is no reason to manipulate the results. Also the issue with the weighting of each vote is also no issue because it's proper to a single user.
1-800-GOOG-411 was all about collecting phonemes to feed into a machine to make voice search possible today. I think SearchWiki is along the same lines.