I have to agree with Perry.
While it is possible to find some pretty great deals through foreclosures, it is equally possible to find even better deals dealing directly with owners.
Many of today's foreclosures are the result of people being upside down on their mortages (meaning: they owe more on the mortgage than the property is now worth), and banks are stuck with a depreciated asset. It is not likely, in these types of cases, that the banks will be willing to negotiate too far below market value, and, as Perry said, you will likely be competing against other people bidding on the property thinking it's the deal of a lifetime simply because it iS a foreclosure.
Again, this is not to say that you can't find a great deal by looking into foreclosures (just beware of "as is" condition, possible deferred maintenance issues, and the fact that there are no disclosures, meaning, basically, you will buying into the property blindly). Just don't exclude straight sales because you are just as likely - if not more likley - to find a great deal (with less hassle)through those channels, too. And you will be dealing directly with the owner, who has complete control over the final "yeah or nay" to your offer.