Here in West Tennessee, most of the counties have subscription services that are run by private entities. The costs are fairly reasonable. I pay $55 a month for three counties that most of my works is done, and with that, I get 5 units for day only searches in counties that I don't subscribe to. This is run by U.S. Title Search. The copies and downloadable images are free with the subscription.
Shelby County (Memphis, TN) has their records online and are free. The Shelby County Regsiter does a heck of a good job.
The counties that are not included in the above are generally covered by another subscription service called Titlesearcher I believe. They are pretty good, but a little more expensive, but better than driving and spending precious daylight hours when you can be in the field. This service requires that you put a dollar amount on your account, and the copies are $2.00 each.
We are just north of NYC and get as much as we can on-line. The local associations have been pushing for this for a long time. We tell the counties to charge, use it to make revenue...for the vast majority of us it is cheaper to pay the fees and get the stuff at our office than to send someone there to do all the research and pay 25 cents per copy.
Westchester County - http://www.westchesterclerk.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68&Itemid=17
They have EVERYTHING on-line including stuff hundreds of years old. When you go to the clerks office they have nothing but terminals. The fee is $20/day or $1200/year. The searching is the best I have seen and it works flawlessly. The office is an hour from us so we happily pay the yearly fee.
Putnam County - http://www.landaccess.com/
They have most deeds from the early 90's and forward on line. Have to go to the clerks for the rest. We usually end up at the clerks because we need to go back further. Maps are from the clerk only.
Dutchess County - http://geoaccess.co.dutchess.ny.us/parcelaccess/parcelaccess_map.htm
They have all parcel info including names, liber and pages and maps on line in a GREAT GIS format. We use this daily. All maps are available on line but no deeds yet.
Ulster County - They just put all their deeds on-line. I have not used it yet, but I understand there is a fee.
Rockland County - All deeds and maps are on line, a fee is required if you don’t want "UNOFFICIAL COPY" on each page.
Orange County, still in the stone age...they need to get stuff on line
V. Kelly Bellis, PLS 2099
Horizon Surveying Company, Inc.
17 Union Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605