I happen to think this model is quite fair. Here is a list of things included with sharing 30% with Apple:
- credit card transactions
I also can't believe the Standard Developer Program is only $99. I have been developing J2ME application for several years now. Whenever you deploy you typically need to sign the J2ME app it can be $500 for a single deployment option because of certificates. If want to make your application available through several carriers you might have to have several certificates which cost additional money and add to the packaging and deployment complexity.
But the final benefit is the program includes free distribution for free apps. So if you don't want to share 30% with Apple, there is a missed revenue opportunity in Apple's plan. I have not heard or seen anything relate to participating in sharing for any other monetization options. So if you give away your application for free but sell ads, you can save it all :)
Finally, if you are looking for iPhone developers please contact me, I am very excited about the platform and would love the opportunity to work on this new frontier.