If you have grown to dislike PayPal, you might be interested in this blog post
at The College Investor which reviews 3 alternatives to PayPal: Serve, WePay and Google Wallet.
If you just want a way to pay friends without checks, you might want to look into banks that offer Popmoney. Ally Bank is one of them
. With this service you can send money to anyone in the U.S. using their email address or mobile phone number.