AK is what you make of it...
As everyone has said, AK is a great hand to be dealt, but it needs help. So I wouldn't bet the farm on it in early position, as there are too many ways to lose with it. However, that said, it's a relatively more potent hand versus large groups of people, compared to a lower pocket pair.
I think as people are saying, it's something of a "skill" hand. With AA or KK or even QQ, you get it, say a brief thanks to the poker gods, and then bet as you need to to maximize your winnings. AK requires a little more finesse, table sense, and as another poster mentioned above, willingness to fold if you don't hit the flop.