After reading the interesting and thoughtful replies here and thinking for a while, I'd have to agree with Doug.
Without the internet and the commerce it has engendered, the gear I most prize (with, perhaps, the exception of my Western Mountaineering sleeping bag, my Montbell UL Thermawrap jacket and my Montrail Hardrocks) would not exist. The internet has revolutionized my shopping habits--I buy almost everything except groceries online now. Yes, I could do the groceries, too, but especially with produce I like to see what I'm getting.
Think of all the small gear producers who do their entire business on the internet. Most of my gear has come from them. And even the exceptions listed above were ordered from internet vendors like backcountrygear.com and backcountry.com, which do business almost entirely on the internet. The internet lets us compare prices and find information that wasn't around 15 years ago, or at least not readily available at our fingertips.
Being something of a luddite, I have a tendency to decry modern inventions. The personal computer and the internet, though, have revolutionized my life as they have many others. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first in my firm to learn to use some of the earliest personal computers (anyone remember the Apple II?) in the early spring of 1981, and used computers constantly for work ever since. I didn't start getting acquainted with the internet, though, until 1998 when I took a class at work. Even for work it made an enormous difference (looking up accounting statements on the AICPA website instead of searching through shelves of publications saved hours of time). I first started using the internet personally to research--and buy tickets and railpasses--for my post-retirement Europe trips in 2000 and 2001. Soon after that, I started looking for alternatives to 50-lb. packs so I could get back into backpacking, and here I am. Yes, an old dog, even one suspicious of modern technology, can learn new tricks!