According to the Hospital Readership Survey 2005, "Medical journals are more important sources of information to doctors than sponsored meetings and company reps." Some results:
MEDICAL JOURNALS Very useful 55% Quite useful 39% Not very useful 3% Not at all useful n/a Don't know n/a
COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE Very useful 4% Quite useful 41% Not very useful 38% Not at all useful 12% Don't know 1%
SPONSORED MEETINGS Very useful 19% Quite useful 56% Not very useful 18% Not at all useful 2% Don't know 1%
INTERNET/CD-ROMS Very useful 25% Quite useful 41% Not very useful 19% Not at all useful 6% Don't know 5%
MEDICAL EDUCATION (e.g. BOOKLETS) Very useful 38% Quite useful 52% Not very useful 6% Not at all useful 1% Don't know 1%
Update: Thanks to Irwin,
here's a link to the survey. Also, he points out that it was done in the U.K., and results could be different for U.S.-based docs. Sorry about the broken link! I'm trying to find one that works.