Yep, based on the number of phone calls we get now, I would say the popularity is definately on the increase. That can only make the mills and BYB's more popular. And to add to the mix, we are seeing more and more people who want that instant gratification and want a puppy NOW; if they can't get one now from a reputable breeder, they will go wherever they have to to get one.
Several years ago there was talk about a re-make of the movie Lady and the Tramp using live actors and a Cavalier as Lady. The talk amoung the breeders Kris and I know was "I hope they don't make the movie, it will increase the popularity exponentially and the mills will ruin the breed". My fear has always been that something will increase their popularity far beyond the supply and the mills and BYB's will take off.