I think it all depends on the type of player. The problem I see with many games, especially MMOs of any sort, is that they tend to only shallowly attempt to cater toward different player motivations - Achievers, Socializers, Explorers, and Killers. I enjoyed WOW immensely for a time, again until I realize how manipulative the exploration aspect of the world was when I attempted to explore beyond the boundaries of my quest line. Entire zones bereft of any interaction besides aggression simply because I had no quests there. And the story within quests had little bearing on the quest itself, outside telling you where to go and what to kill. There was very little to figure out. I never really EARNED anything.
To answer your point on lore...have you ever played a game so good that you just want to read anything and everything about it? You keep looking for more and more information and explanations and history because you just can't get enough of the setting? If not, then you're probably not an Explorer type. For me, there have been a few games where all I've wanted to do was scour the Internet for theories and lore. I've continued playing games long past the time when I've beat them because I'm trying better understand the BBEG's motivations or learn more about how the current political climate came about.
As for Google...you are ALWAYS going to have people who aren't interested in figuring it out for themselves, but you also have to have the people that DID. Also, a lot of the problem with puzzle solving or figuring out tricks to monsters has to do with the fact that they are inherently game constructs, rather than lore constructs; in other words, they were designed simply as a way to change things up for the player, rather than something that appears to grow forth from lore or environment. I think many players have grown to expect this from a game, especially early on when the game proves it to be that way, so instead of looking for answers within the game to solve the problem, they turn to Google.
Imagine instead, if players were given the ability to pen instructional manuals within the game itself. This would take some of the strain off of developers by placing some of the responsibility of filling out the lore into player hands. How To's and Walkthroughs will still get made, but they will be written as part of the game rather than a separate entity. It's also another way for players to get famous, providing another draw for the Achiever type. It would give a good outlet for the Explorer type, now that information is even more valuable. Some lore would require adept Killers and Achievers in order to survive the areas where the information lies, and a good social network would be necessary to provide access to the each of these types. To be honest, giving incentives to keep info in-game would only make the game itself and the networks within it more valuable and interesting.