I am coming into this discussion late, but as one of the old-timers around here (even if I do not visit quite as frequently as I once did), this feature struck me as odd, because I do consider it a nibbling tool. And, yes, I do find it wenie-like to be unable to decide what one's true max is.
That said, I was also wondering about Jabbergah's question. I was SHOCKED to see that a $30 "max" would be upped to the $83 to win! Like him, I had understood three increments to mean three bid increments above my max. But apparently three increments REALLY means three increments above the current high bidder's max, going into the last few seconds? Wow! With that in mind, then there would seem to be no limit to what one might be obligated to spend, in case of a win. This is especially true when there is a nuclear bidder involved in the auction.