Can you seriously remember the last time you pulled out a big fat phone-book to look for a local service? I can't!
To be honest, I do everything online. I search for services, products recommendations and movie reviews using my computer or my mobile phone. I order my DVD's and find new music online. When I'm looking for a new local hairdresser I find myself looking for it on the web. I even found myself a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese online that I now religiously order every couple of weeks.
And that's pretty much why I love the web. It seems to make it much more possible for a less hierarchical interaction of people, companies and organisations.
Even if you're 'only' a one-person operation a good website to promote your business or your art can be invaluable.
It's like the business card or portfolio that can be continuously updated. Your customers and friends can recommend you by simply emailing your website link to their contacts, or even just by verbally recommending you with the assurance that people will always find your information online being totally current.