ONE THING... Personas: Admire? Despise?

Personas deal with softer characteristics. They are often defined as representations of users that embody the qualities, feelings and preferences of groups. They are typically depicted with photos or images surrounded by descriptions and supporting attributes.

Personas are considered valuable because they help us to empathize with buyers and users. The goal is not just to know who your customers are, but to truly understand them.

My question to the group: Do you use personas? When? Or are they too namby-pamby for data-hungry Product people? Discuss.