Very interesting discussion here. I might add that netlabels like Thinner have become a standard, not only be the quality of the releases but by the way they work. They are approaching the netlabel market not only by releasing under a CC license but also making hard copies available to the public.
I also can give the example of PublicSpaces, a small netlabel operating from Barcelona, that has had more than 66,000 downloads of their 4 releases and to me that is a very impressive number since their catalogue is not the easiest one to listen to.
With the right promotion and finding the right target I think that the future lies indeed with the netlabels.