The snatch is a compound movement that utilizes many different lifting motions. In whole, the movement is not as likely to be used in the functional world as its parts. The only time the lift would be used in whole would be to lift something with reasonable weight from the ground to full extension overhead as FAST as you can (not as common as just doing the deadlift, or Overhead squat portion).
The compound movement also has the interesting side effect of creating an excellent athlete. The flexibility, strength, explosive power, and stability required to do the snatch properly directly translates to superior fitness, performance and health.
There is also evidence that compound lifts such as the snatch provide a hormonal response for muscle growth and recovery than ‘sectional’ lifts.
Plus: it also scares the bejesus out of gym goers and neighbors, so that, in itself, is a bonus.
(Message edited by jjones on May 31, 2006)