Basement.org has an excellent article today titled Reality Check 2.0 - with 279 diggs as of 10am central, it's competing nicely with other hot topics like How to Drive Your web Developer Insane: A Primer, but is still getting crushed by Retouching photos to the max!
Of particular interest is the author's observation that you'll need an awful lot of AJAX to compete with the next version of Office 2007. Amen to that.
But at the heart of his article is an unspoken question that leads me to ask: what is Web 2.0 really about? Is it really about "breaking the surly bonds of established computing metaphors"? Is it about "a new generation of solutions based on an on-demand model of both delivery and solution creation"? Is it about being cool?
My cynical answer: Web 2.0 is a de-centralized incubator for companies that hope to be acquired by MSFT, GOOG or YHOO before they have to actually attract too many customers or articulate a value proposition that can be understood by someone who doesn't own an EFF t-shirt.
My hopeful answer: Yes. Except the being cool part.
My hope: That companies like Feedburner and Boxxet survive and thrive. Those are the only ones that make obvious sense to me. So far.