Do not underestimate the power of having a well placed website. More and more paying customers are searching for talent on the web. And the number of cold calls and emails with good jobs that come directly from someone finding me on the net increases each month.
Now, the problem for someone just starting out in 2008 with a website, is getting it seen. I'm not a master SEO guru - my websites pop up because I've been online with my own domains since 1996. And somewhere along the line I have a friend who did some optimization.
I don't live in a major market, nor do I currently have representation in one, so my chances of landing - heck, my chances of even auditioning for national gigs - are pretty limited. (And when I do, the competition is huge because 20 different agents across the country are submitting people.) Most of those big jobs are still cast primarily the "old fashioned" way. But who knows what is going to happen.
So if you don't have a great agent in a large market - it is time to get your own domain and do some research on SEO and SEM.