ADGarner, the problem is that people will usually sacrifice too much for Baron, from what I've seen. In my example from today, they gave up pretty much their entire base for Baron, and it was totally not worth it even if it was uncontested. They were racing against time because we were on their nexus and had already taken towers.
Why take Baron if the enemy team will wreck your base or take too many towers? It's great, IF you can get it without sacrificing a lot. That's why I say it's a noob-trap. Why in the world go for Baron if the enemy team will get all the way to your nexus for it? It's useful for pulling enemies out of base or in an ideal situation (aced or one or two enemies left) taking it for the bonuses, but as I said, outside of these scenarios is when it becomes a noob-trap. It gets dangerous or even sacrificial depending on how the other team responds to yours trying to take it.
Edit: I think you're right about your latest post. Baron could give a losing team an edge. It's risky, but if they pull it off, they could win a teamfight/get a gold advantage and if nothing, they're now empowered.