A new corporate owner might not feel that way, so it's hardly surprising that the proud Yahoo culture is fending off potential takeovers with a two-year $500 million stock buyback plan. That will still leave $1.5 billion in the bank, effectively buying time for the company to figure out how to make more money on its own. Certainly Silicon Valley is rooting for Yahoo to stay independent in a world increasingly dominated by the AOL-Microsoft rivalry. "They do have a certain cachet, being the last Switzerland standing," says Sinnreich. Not that cachet alone pleases Wall Street anymore. If Yahoo is going to be Swiss, it had better find some good cheese and chocolate to sell.