Good read, I can relate to that first paragraph, though I was a slightly older indie rock snob; in '95 I thought Sonic Youth and Pavement were washed up old hippies, forget the Dead!
My subsequent tape trading phase was all about Neil Young though, a "mere" 40 tapes which are still kicking around somewhere.
Napster is what finally got me to listen to live Dead, a random mp3 of Eyes from 7/8/78 which probably took 25 minutes to download over dial-up.
There are people looking to get rid of 100-700(!) GD tapes on my local Craigslist... It would be cool to have some, but I dunno about THAT many.