Thanks to T.E. I've just found Escape the Ivory Tower and its compelling post about our responsibilities for advising grad school in the humanities. This is an old topic around the blogosophere, with too many posts to list-and-link. It's also one I've been hesitant to join.
Part of the reason that I have been hesitant to join is that had I gotten this kind of reality check advice, I might not have pursued this path, one that I do find extraordinarily rewarding in a way that I personally cannot imagine experiencing in many other life paths. Yes, I'm in a fair amount of debt, and yes it took three tries on the job market to land a good TT job, but in many ways, the "life of the mind" is something I associate quite closely with the job and the way I work.
Still, the scenario gets worse and worse, and I am slowly coming to understand that the job market is significantly worse right now than it was even five years ago when I was last out. I really do wonder how to give advice, knowing that the advice that this line of thinking would have me give would have very likely led to a somewhat (or even extremely) less satisfying career and work/life exchange than I currently enjoy, and might therefore do the same for certain students whom I might advise.
Still, I'll be sending those students this link as a reality check, and would be interested to hear of other links (please do send them on) that I might compile.