Article marketing in terms of submitting them to article directories is definitely far less effective now post panda/penguin but it still has some value. I read ezinearticles is making a come back, but personally I don't think it's worth the effort. In terms of article marketing for yourself, it depends, if you believe googles pitch about "quality content", then sure, articles in that sense are absolutely effective. I read a post above about getting syndicated, that's also a great route to go, albeit not easy, but very doable if you're persistent and very effective if your article offers value and/or solves a problem. Also on the market side, buy/selling articles is at an all time high right now, so overall article marketing is still flourishing. Lot of sites like fiverr etc...that have popped up where you can buy/sell that stuff all day.
I think the topic is to answer the question if the article marketing is still an effective tool. My answer is yes.
The way I do it is to write an article on my blog and after few days, once it gets indexed, submit the same article into article directories.
This way ensures the original content of the article leads to my website, plus I boost my rankings by linking back to my original article, plus I get a little bit of extra traffic from these directories.