When you’re designing circuit boards all the time there is nothing like a 3D part for creating the footprints. If the part is to scale and correct, it will help you verify your pad locations as well as get the positioning right. And let’s face it, we all want to see a nice 3D rendering of the board to make sure it looks right.
Strangely enough, it seems quite a few manufacturers don’t provide 3D models for their parts. Is it that difficult to extrude your part? You obviously already have the 2D model and more than used a 3D model to create the part. It has actually gotten to the point where we are more likely to select a part from a manufacturer with models.
By the way, if you’re looking for 3D Part Models then you should look at 3D Content Central. It’s a great site with a lot of useful models provided by users. As always, some parts are better than others. You may find some parts that marginally fit your own design, but I’ve been surprised at how many times we find the right part for the exact footprint from a manufacturer.