However, the value of domain names as " ... locaters and identifiers ..." is NOT "overrated".
I don't think that the value of "locators, identifiers, and navigation aids" is at all overrated. Rather, I think that the value of domain names for these purposes is overrated. Independent directory services, such as Google, Yahoo, RealNames (yes, I know they went under), have a good chance to become much better. For most of my purposes, Google is already better, but it doesn't satisfy all possible needs for directory lookup. Jon posted an interesting brief comparison of DNS with search engines earlier.
Leave the DNS alone. It remains a viable option for consumers and businesses.
This is precisely what I propose to do. Let the DNS alone, and let it compete freely with other directory lookup services. I expect that it will survive and be useful for the foreseeable future, but that it will cease to be the dominant directory lookup service.
While leaving DNS, and particularly its directory lookup function, totally alone, I propose to offer a separate implementation of its portable unique identifier function, divorced from meaningful directory lookup. If my reasoning is correct, the value of the domain name x.com will go down a lot in the new regime, and people will fight over it a lot less, but I don't see any reason for it to go away entirely, unless and until a new service is so much more attractive that DNS is not worth maintaining.