I have been contracting since 1992. It is true we both want to get paid max($$). It is not true these are separate money pots. Most companies will look at your commission and my hourly rate as my total burn rate.
I will agree that recruiting is difficult because I don't know anyone who sticks w/the job even though it can be a license to print money. I will also agree that a competent recruiter is a joy. I switch jobs perhaps every year which means I am always looking for my next contract. Most recruiters are on to some other sales position in a matter of months, so there is constant churn.
Yes, there is a hostile attitude to recruiters. Some of it is silly, some of it is well earned. The fake jobs on DICE just to collect resumes are one bad example. The meat market, commodity skill attitude is another. I have a dedicated phone line that I keep just for recruiters to leave voice mail, and I have an amazing collection of WAV files containing broken english about skills I never had for jobs I would never consider.
My favorite ploy is the agencies who stalk me on LinkedIn. When I move to a new contract, they call my old employer to ask if they need any additional help. And they call my new employer to ask if they need any additional help. The kicker is they drop my name as if I endorse this action, which frequently gets me a email about "which side are you playing?" Needless to say, I do not return the phone calls of these agencies.
To wrap up, I would starve without recruiters and I am happy to do business w/them when it works out. You just have to be picky about who represents you.