Tracfone is great for people with light usage; those who just want a phone in their pocket to make that emergency (or semi-emergency, like "I'm in the store now; what was that thing you wanted me to buy again?") call. It is far less valuable for people who regularly use their phone for long conversations. And its data and messaging rates (and service) are terrible.
Mind you, I fall into the former camp and am happy with my cheap TracFone. In those instances where I actually need to discuss things with people, I just wait until I get to a landline (either at work or at home), and there are enough free wi-fi hotspots around here that I rarely need worry about not having access to the Internet (anyway, I suffer from fat-finger syndrome, and would rather use a laptop than try to punch out a message on the tiny keyboard of a phone any day). And I pay less than $100 a year, which is less than some people pay per month.
But it is definitely not a service for everyone.