QDog, the web is of course both a blessing and a curse. I feel it's just a more modern version of the old issues.
For me, it's a blessing, as I don't have a well-stocked library to run to, and it takes weeks for interlibrary loans to arrive. Before the internet, I would go to the well-stocked library that I lived near, then, and get at least three books on a topic I was interested in. Invariably, two would be pretty comprehensive and be in 95% agreement with one another, and they would fill in each other's information gaps. The third book would be evidently suffering in the research, editing, and proofreading departments, though the pictures might be pretty, and possibly useful if correctly captioned.
Prior to the age of books, I guess one would ask as many people as one felt confident were qualified to answer intelligently, about what one wanted to know.
And there has always been good old hands-on experimentation, where one expands the field of knowledge, one's self.
But in the internet age, and not being near a library, I like online forums (forae?), which are interactive, and one can judge the credibility of an "expert" by their overall performance on the forum and support of their views by other "experts", and you can read others' responses and experiences, and converse with them for clarification. It does take time to filter through all the facts and factoids, but so does critical reading of books, and so does tracking down qualified people to speak with. And good old, take-a-deep-breath-and-enter-the-unknown experimentation, takes time--and guts, too.