What if the Internet sector has already started to go south again? What if the good times have already sailed past, well before we got a chance to figure out what exactly "Web 2.0" was supposed to mean? These are not very welcome questions, not with profit and revenue growing at Internet stalwarts such as Yahoo! ( YHOO) and Google ( GOOG). But because Friday marks six years to the day of the end of the Internet's first big wave of growth, it's a timely question. Anyone who held on to stocks like Ariba ( ARBA), Infospace ( INSP) and VeriSign ( VRSN) through 2000 and into 2001 -- hoping that they would bound back to new highs -- doesn't want to be in the same situation on that spooky anniversary. (Even after rebounding some in the past few years, Ariba is still 99% down from its record high, while Infospace is down 98% and VeriSign has tumbled a slightly more moderate 91% -- each a smelly albatross hanging around the necks of those who pounded the table for these stocks in the weeks before dot-com stocks peaked.) Now, in sober contrast to the sector's rally in the closing months of 2005, Internet stocks are uneasily down. As of Tuesday, Yahoo! had lost 28% in the last two months, Google was off 23%, eBay ( EBAY) is down 17%, and Amazon.com ( AMZN) lost 22%. Even more recent upstarts that teased Wall Street with the promise of brave new industries were hammered for earnings that are growing, but just not growing fast enough for Wall Street's appetite. XM Satellite ( XMSR) and iRobot ( IRBT) dropped 17% and 29%, respectively, on their first-quarter earnings reports. More disturbing still was the market's reaction when Google's CFO pointed out something mind-numbingly obvious: As the company gets bigger, its revenue growth rate will slow. That mild-mannered factoid cost Google $17 billion in market cap within 30 brief minutes -- and in the subsequent week the stock has recovered less than half that loss. (Although, who knows? Maybe investors were simply stunned to learn that Google had a CFO who could talk.) Another bit of sobering news was that the Internet's reach just can't keep growing like it used to.