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Do certifications really lead to better jobs?

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Do certifications really lead to better jobs?

My opinion is that some do and some don't. Certainly if you reach the top of the cert tree with Microsoft or Cisco for example, you'll find yourself being head hunted by companys.

On the other hand here, my experience has taught me that you could have a CCNA, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, A+ and whatever other cert under your belt and still not be as good as the guy next door; The one who bought an old PC and a few text books and set about learning by hands on and experimenting. I learn't that way. Every now and then I've gone and studied at a Technical College to update my skills and practice what I know. I always ace these courses. The thing is, I'm still working in IT now without an industry certs and I'm doing it all on experience.

So does a cert really count towards your job prospects and future? I say no. What does everyone else think?