Bit late getting back to this but I also find, as Dave does, that enclosing a search phrase in quotes makes no difference to a search. Each individual word is looked up resulting in a lot of results which then need to be sifted by eye so to speak. I've found the same on other vBulletin forums which is why I mentioned that it might be a vBulletin thing.
But that Google idea from you Jason is a good'n, I'll use that in future.
EDIT: Just tried Dave's search in quotes and, like him, got 500 results.