EDIT: Also, if you're promoting a game, GDC is not the place for it. Go to PAX, or E3, or TGS, but not GDC.
I would say this is true. While it's possible to get a little exposure for your indie title at GDC, it is much more convenient at the PAX, E3, etc... as those shows are much more focused on catering to the media and marketing.
At the same time, I would say that GDC is one of the best places to "pitch" your game to prospective publishers. All of the major publishers show up to GDC, and its usually possible to get an interview at one of their booths. Pitching your game to a major publisher would be quite possible if you brought a playable demo along.
Of course, if you manage to sell a publisher on your game, you will likely no longer be "indie." Still, its worth noting.
As to this upcoming GDC, yeah, I think I'll be able to make it this time. I have a pretty stable contract gig at the moment, so I should be able to afford the expense of heading out there come Jan/Feb. I'm not sure if I should fly again, or attempt driving. I'm an Arizona boy, so driving is a possibility, but San Fran is farther up the coast than I initially thought. I would be driving the better part of a day there and back, while the plane flight is only an hour or so.