It all depends on how you look at it. I am currently studying for 316 and using Kalanis book.  I work through all the examples on VS and have learned loads.  I already have a degree in computing and am employed as a developer using pre .NET MS technologies.  Just because some people cheat or do the bare minimum doesnt make the cert worthless. Plenty of companies would look on it favourably if accompanied by a degree and some experience.