I have some real data, not anecdotal... ;-)
I've been using touch-less washes on my '09 since I bought it in early '09. I don't have the time to hand-wash/wax it as often as I like, but I like to keep it reasonably clean so I buy an unlimited washes card every 90 days during "car season". Card cost $170 - I can get a touch-less wash every day for 90 days - that's less than $2 for a quick wash if you were to use it every day. With three cars in the house this is perfect.
Anyway... my '09 has gone though a touch-less wash cycle no fewer than 200 times - probably more. The bumper, 1/2 hood, 1/2 fenders were clear wrapped in '09 and so far the paint, clear-coat, and wrap still look perfect 6 years later.
Unless they use something different in the U.S., I don't see evidence that touch-less harms your paint. Of course, don't use the older types that require your wheels to wedge in between two bars to track the car - this will mangle your wheels. The ones around here either use flat moving tracks to move the car through - nothing touches the car anywhere, or you sit still in the middle as the equip moves around the car.
That being said, I agree they don't do a great job... as noted, I only consider them useful for general cleaning. Also I agree that it's nice to the underbody pressure cleaned also - esp after a track weekend.
It's no substitute for a hands-on wash, but I would not hesitate to recommend it for a "casual rinse" to get rid of some crud.