Dear Miss Snark:
Certainly I would never waste an agent's time or my own money by sending a routine query letter using any method other than regular snail mail. But what if an agent requests a partial or (Thank you Jesus!) a full? Given the problems I have occasionally had in the past with the USPS, I am extremely reluctant to entrust them with something this vital to my fledgling career as a writer. Especially when a busy agent may take several weeks--or longer--to respond to the submission, I feel that the cost of sending the material FedEx is well worth it, simply for the comfort of being able to track the package and know that it actually arrived at the agent's office.
I hafta tell ya that this writing business is about to drive me totally effing crazy as it is. Please, please don't tell me that, in addition to all of the other things I have to be concerned about, I now also have to worry that I will antagonize an agent and perhaps prejudice her against my submission simply because I chose to use a reliable carrier to deliver material that the agent had requested.
You can send your prose by Pony Express or liveried footman. You can send it accompanied by flemenco dancers and the Vienna Boys Choir covering "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp". You can send it in a box of LiverSnaps hackeysacked by a pack of poodles if you so desire.
The objection is not in the method (although I find sending queries by FedEx to be indicative of nitwittery as we all know) and I certainly won't think more or less of you for your chosen conveyance. In fact, by the time I actually read it, I won't even remember how it arrived**.
The problem with FedEx is that it seems to alter the expectation of queriers that their work will be read faster or with a more favorable eye. It won't. As long as YOU know that, fire the manuscript off in a cannonball and we're fine.
The only thing you can't do is make me go to the post office to fetch it.
**this reminds me of one of my favorite stories. A man is herding his five children in Central Park. All five are approximately the same age, and of clearly varied racial and ethnic backgrounds. A tightly coiffed and furred matron stops to view the children playing. She says "what darling children, are they all yours?"
"yes, they are" replies the father.
"Which ones are adopted?" inquires the helmet head
"I'm don't really remember anymore," replies the dad "Once they're yours you kind of forget how they got here".