Yes, and the forum is the best place to enquire because it is a place where the actual owners review the cars and not the manufacturers.Even when i had to go for my bike 6mons back, i thoroughly searched the forums so that my pick is a wise one.
It does influence one's choices. People can't just roam around every showroom after a tiring day at work. The internet is a convenient option. You come across ownership reviews, test drive reports, complaints and also flaws in the said product which no dealer will tell you about.
Yeah even i used the internet before picking my verna!! I had plans of buying a Skoda octy and SX4 also!! But in in the internet i found that the octy is not happy to maintain and the SX4 has a poor FE accepted by the owners itself!!