After years of complaining about it, I'm finally sold on the online application process. Maybe it's just that I'm getting used to it, but it was not at all terrible this year. Easily three fourths of my applications this year were online, so it might also have just been that I was in "online application" mode from the start. It's still pretty obnoxious how you have to fill out the same contact info/references data in every application, but this year my autofill did a better job of filling out the forms for me, so it wasn't as much of a hassle.
Another nice thing about online apps is this: when I prepare paper applications, I am very bad about knowing how many of each document I will need and I always end up having to print out one or two more of a bunch of documents at the last minute. Obviously CVs and writing samples are easy, since everybody wants those, but I never print out enough research statements or syllabuses for business ethics. Online applications make this a non-issue.
Also, online applications are much, much cheaper. Way cheaper. Vastly cheaper.
And it seems like people are getting better about having "upload" slots for each required document. I only had one unexpected occasion to go into Adobe and make a combination PDF of several required documents.
It's also nice not to have to wait around for all the photocopies to copy. Making 30 or 40 copies of your writing sample is time-consuming and annoying. And I always do my copying in the evenings so I don't tie up the copier during the day, so it was nice not having to do very much of that.
But if I may make a suggestion, please put the application process all online or all offline. No more of this "submit these three documents electronically and then these four documents in hard copy" bullshit. That's the worst. Pick one.