Yeah, so .. pros make a living, I hear.
Jared: Cash prizes are ok, but I think they are not creative, and besides, money dirties art, it always has.
Creative and meaningful prizes are best. I love the print I won at the 03' Oza in New York. It is about 20" by 10" and shows courtesans or noble ladies by the Go board.
Cash prizes also have a way of making tournament entry fees too high. (Without cash prizes, no normal tournament should be more than 10$ / day. I'd rather buy my own food, too) Tournament Directors: Let's increase tournament attendance with lower fees! :)
Imagist: I do acknowledge that money does dirty the game a bit. However, things are rarely so black and white (heh heh). The upside to cash prizes are that the players take the game very seriously. I personally enjoy the game most when both players are playing very seriously to win, and a large cash prize tends to give the players incentive to play very seriously.