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Can't I just bid early and have eBay's proxy bidding system take care of it?

Yes, but again, why would you want to?
Other potential bidders can see your bid as soon as it is placed (not necessarily your maximum- depending on how much any other bidders have already bid for the item). This attracts attention creating competition, usually leading to a higher final price.

Here's a less obvious reason to snipe using our system rather than bid early:
You can cancel(or edit) your snipe. Using our system, you can set up a snipe and then edit or cancel it up until five minutes before the end of the auction, without the bid being registered on eBay. So, you can change your mind.
eBay's terms of agreement describe any bid placed as a contract to buy. If you place an early bid directly on eBay you can't change your mind (you may be able to retract your bid but you may get some negative feedback in the process).