The two articles aren't actually contradictory, the first is a welcome optimistic look at the future of e-commerce with Forrester Research reporting that most online retailers turned a profit in 2008 as business continues to grow. The second article profiles a new site called Milo, which allows you to enter your location and the name of a product you're looking for, and it delivers a list of nearby retail stores where you can find the item. Milo's business model operates on the "instant gratification" theory — you don't want to wait for an item you order, you want to find it right away.
I tend to prefer a mix of online and retail store shopping, depending on the item and what's convenient. What about you?