Views exposed filters are the key to a great search for a website or web application. It's a little painful getting started, but it becomes apparent that the power of Views (3x) is virtually un-touched by most modules. I'm currently working on a web application for Real Estate Investor and I was unsure at first how I would tackle searching property listings. If your goal is an extremely granular or filtered result, using Views exposed filters is probably the answer your looking for.
One issue I encountered however was cleansing input values (e.g. $, comma's, dots). Something that is as easy preg_replace and regex in php can be a little grueling. After a lot of Googling and reading. I found that using the hook_form_alter on 'view_exposed_form' did the trick. Another helpful tidbit is using $form_state and #validate before the form is submitted. Creating a custom module instead of creating a preprocess function in template.php seems to make things easier as well.