Thanks for this funny post :) I had a good time reading it (and some laughters).
But you miss a thing. I worked for a ".com" company just when the bubble exploded, and then our marketing guys removed the ".com" from the name, as they considered that it gave a bad impression. The ".com" turned from a distinction and success suffix into a sign of of economic disease.
I still have to wait, but I don't discard that the same will apply to the "Web 2.0".
The biggest irony is that this transition to web-based apps reflects the end of version numbers in software! You don't need to install Gmail 2.0... they just add features incrementally, and you reload your browser to "upgrade."
But who really cares about the words. I mean, look at all the other brilliant labels society has settled upon, to refer to hugely transformational technologies: "Podcast." "Wiki." "Blog." =P
I've got a topic I want to hear your thoughts on: 'Contained' membership Vs. Open Membership with regard to web start-ups. Facebook and Wallop both only allow select people into their worlds (or at least started that way) and I believe that's given them the element of mystery compared with startups that allow anyone in (pretty much all of them). Can you think of any other advantages a 'contained' vs. 'open' membership might have?
Re: Contained Vs. Open Membership per Your Request
First a caveat... I'm an ancient (increasingly fit) guy with limited knowledge in the technological world.
It appears on the face of things that the decisions regarding Contained Vs. Open Memberships might be based on one of two very different bits of strategy:
 Contained might work better when start-ups want to get specific feedback from knowledgable users such that they can refine their offering and get the bigger bugs out before going out to the world. If the decision is merely based on "exclusive" then it would have a less likely chance of succeeding.
 Open membership (Beta stage) is a gutsy move, especially if things are not fully thought out and buggy. This approach ought to gather larger and more varied feedback. The question is whether the start-ups have the inclination and ability to respond to the (valid) feedback. If not, the initial negative (public) impression might kill the venture as it is difficult to correct a bad rep.
In my view there are two larger considerations:  Does the start-up venture fulfill a need?  How does the start-up create audience "critical mass".
In terms of historical experience relative to Contained Vs. Open... What did YouTube do? How about Google?
Great post! I think there is one other thing that is getting missed on Web 2.0/3.0 etc. Typically when version numbers increase, things get better. I have been on the Internet for 15 years now and honestly across the board I can not honestly say that things have gotten better. With that I mean things are easier, quicker to find, user friendly etc. Searches are more bloated, pages are crowded, interfaces lock up, page navigation is well an after thought mostly. Aside from the fact that there are more things online these days, to me it seems the desire for developers to jump on the latest technology bandwagon to justify there cost, "old" technologies get left behind which actually might even have been better. Case-in-point. This comment box only shows 6 lines of text, about 7-8 words across, not really convenient for someone to read and proofread there comment.