Genetical genomics has been proposed to map loci controlling gene-expression differences (eQTLs) that might underlie functional trait variation. We briefly review the studies in model species and conclude that, although they successfully demonstrate the utility of genetical genomics, they are too limited to unlock the full potential of this approach and some results should be interpreted with caution. We subsequently elaborate on two recent studies that use this approach in humans. The many differences between these studies complicate meaningful comparisons between them. A joint analysis of the two experiments offers some scope for more powerful genetical genomics.