According to Adri Labuschagne, in his essay "Qualitative Research - Airy Fairy or Fundamental" (http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR8-1/labuschagne.html) Qualitative Research focuses more on of the human experience instead of accountability and statistics.
We, as qualitative researches, are focusing in on the richness of an indivudual experience without being burdened down with percentages and completely controlled experiments and evaluations. As the name states, we're not looking at qantity, just quality for answers. As Labuschagne writes, qualitative appears to reach an understanding from an artistic perspective, instead of quantative, which examines a scientific perspective.
C. George Boeree continues this discussion in his essay "Qualitative Methods: Part One" (http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/qualmethone.html). Boeree goes on to even suggest that it is borderline unethical to reduce the richness of the human exprience to numbers and controlled variables in order to gain an understanding - as far as he's concerned, it seems, one is ignore the complexity of human life and understanding it.
Qualitative Research appears to really look at personal experience and draw conclusions from that itself, resulting in perhaps less solid or black and white answers, but more realistic ones. Both authors spend a great deal of time exploring why qualitative may be a more complex, but ultimately more reliable and satisfying method of researching.