If you're looking to search eBay with wildcards the classic way with proper/complete search results, we have a clever workaround for this that you might like, over at WatchCount.com .
On our home page, just enter your search terms with wildcards/asterisks as you normally would, then click the "Show Me...!" button.
Whether or not you're interested in our Most Watched Items search results (which currently handle the wildcard properly), you'll see a note and special link at the top of search results -- that link will take you to eBay and show you your wildcard search on eBay properly, processing the wildcard syntax as you intended it, the way it used to be.
A nice example of the differences between old and new wildcard handling on eBay: search for "18* -18" (without quotes) in the Books category. That aims to include listings with titles that include years in the 1800's, but eliminate the simple number 18. When performing that search on eBay itself under the new wildcard processing system, you get zero results, since eBay ignores the wildcard. With our special to-eBay search link, you'll get the results you intended, many of them with the year 18xx in the title.
(This is a simple search workaround we're offering until eBay completes its internal search engine transition. As such, we're not completely sure for how long we can offer this handy little service. However, it works for the time being, and we suspect it'll help long-time buyers who know exactly what they're looking for and can really benefit from the granularity, and expansiveness, of simple wildcard-formatted search queries.)