In my mind, Brazil's are an essential component in many blends. The decision to use them is a personal choice, but I would encourage people to search for a special Brazil and then you have the makings of something spectacular.
This is not just an "old school" Italian style method, but a trusted and assured pathway to great coffee. A super Brazil can deliver a "classic" coffee flavor with body, sweetness, chocolate, fruit, etc.
Being the largest producer, you can imagine there are Brazils and there are BRAZILs. The art is in selection.
During 2010 we accessed a brilliant Brazil from Zephyr in the US. Nothing came close to it in Oz from the 2 major brokers - no Ipanema's, Daterra's or Monte Alegre's.
As we started to discover some issues with the later Zephyr crops in early 2011, we then switched to split our Brazils across both Monte Alegre and the Ipanema family - taking only the special and high-end preps. Whilst excellent coffees, they are no match for the Zephyr we used last year.
Currently, I have 8 different Brazils on deck undergoing evaluation - that's how important it is to select a quality bean. We will most likely end up whittling down this shortlist of 2 and it's such a bummer we will need to run the same system of evaluations in another 6 months for new crops arriving.
The takeaway is.........Have faith in Brazils, use them in proportions that suit you and benefit from some classic flavors and neutral acidity.