There are plenty of ways to search. And if you're looking for something in particular, you might need to access several search portals to find it. Hittery has a potential solution. This site lets you create a "personal search dashboard," comprised of several different ways to search many different websites. You can choose which engines you want on your dashboard, "custom" or "normal." Custom search is a Google custom search tailored to fit the category. For example, the Health custom search only searches through "75 trusted medical websites." Normal search consists of sites like Wikipedia, eBay, YouTube, Digg, Yellow Pages and more.
There are certainly some uses for this tool. Let's say you want to check the status of a competitor's website. You could search in Internet and Tech, Blogsearch (Technorati, Google, Twitter), Find People (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), Site Traffic Stats (Compete, Alexa, Google Trends), even Social Info (Delicious, Digg, Reddit.) It might also be useful to find where you rank for any search term on any given website. This could be a good way to find out where you need to spend some time optimizing.
The results of some light testing were positive. I found that if I close the browser, it keeps my information when I open it again, and that's important. One thing I do not like is that when using a custom search box, the results tend to be in the same window. That forces me to click the "back" button, whereas I would prefer to have a new window, so I can keep searching different sources. Also, there was one time when, after I clicked back, the page failed to reload. So, I would like to see that change. Using normal search tends to open a new window. Overall, I like the concept and I'll be using it from time to time to broad-search topics and do some research. Below is a view of my personal search dashboard. You will also see a drop-down menu available for many search sources.