Sure there is some monkey work at the lower levels of support, especially in a "free" hotline where you don't get billed for calling. Several years ago I met a guy who did first level "support" for Microsoft, following a script from a database. But even there, I think second level should have some actual skills, as they are the ones who handle the cases that are too complex for the script monkeys.
At my current, relatively small company, the hotline (which is AFAIK costing more than peanuts to call) offers what you might find at second level support in a company that follows the above pattern. People who are familiar with the product and don't need to follow a fixed script. Some of them are actually quite good, based on years of experience.
Cases that are too hard for the hotline go to the "repair team", those are software testers who otherwise do QA on upcoming releases. I guess they are at least the equivalent of 3rd level support at a place like Microsoft. The "repair team" can talk directly to software development and ask for fixes, we trust them to distinguish bogus calls from real bugs.