I like a short cut as well as anyone else, but sometimes--especially when it comes to research for writing--the Internet can't deliver the details you can get from an expert.
The Internet is great for a quick fact check, but when you want depth, it's best to seek out resources that aren't stored there.
An instructor at a writing conference put it this way: "If you want to find out about stamps, skip the Internet and go talk to a collector." You get to the right information more quickly. This is especially important for writers who may not have a specific question ("When was X coin put into use?") but want to gather more general material. Sometiems you don't even know what you want to know yet.
This is where I find myself as I research life in Depression-era East Texas. Internet is so-so for help. Books are better. Regional museums and primary materials, even better. But best of all: oral histories and real interviews. That's how I've gotten the best level of detail to lend the right texture to my new novel-to-be. Plus I don't spend so much time drifting through semi-helpful web content when I should be writing.