I was, like, 3 in the late '70s, so I really can't say for sure, but I'm pretty sure you're remembering your beloved Minnesota through rose-colored glasses (and I don't doubt, having seen you in striped orange shorts and sandals with flowers on them that you own rose-colored glasses).
True, it wasn't the naked cash grab that dot-com fever exhibits. But the race for points in whatever currency--coolness, attention from the opposite sex, Friday night gigs at the 7th Street Entry--was certainly just as hotly competitive. I've known plenty of record-clerk types, and the casting of them in some sort of purity archetype just doesn't mesh with the "come see my band, ya loser; bring some shrooms" music snobs I remember most of them to be.
And just the other day, the Journal did a story about simple-living dot-com types, not even electricity in their homes. There are plenty of dot-com types who are doing what they do because they believe a better world lies at the end of their efforts.
The ideal of a totally nonmaterialistic Jesus is of course a compelling image. But the reason it's resonated for 2000 years is because it's always been an ideal, something his followers cannot seem to live up to, with all that camel-through-the-eye-of-a-needle stuff. And I, too, believe that there will be a big comeuppance for those who have sacrificed all that has traditionally fulfilled us in the name of paper wealth--friendships, marriage, leisure time, exercise, fresh air, contemplation, sleep. But you're kidding yourself if you think today's youngsters are any baser or shallower than the record-store clerks of your Proustian vintage. Today's options-drenched, Transformer-collecting, Armani-wearing VP of Biz Dev is yesterday's King Crimson defender. They're the same guy.