hmmm... interesting, dot. let me fake some philosophical waxing (or more likely, waning)...
to the extent that i can imagine myself as a distinct, whole being - in and of myself - then that "me" IS in fact more important (to me) than anything/anyone else. i do not consider everything/everyone that i relate with to be part of me, and so i have no problem saying i am the most important thing in my life. which is of course not to trivialize my relationships; they absolutely contribute a great deal to who i am and how i understand the world and my place in it. but i do not see myself as merely the sum of my relations.
i like the web vs hierarchy analogy, but there is no question (in my mind) that: a) i am at the center of the web, and b) there is a significant difference in relevance among the web "nodes" (for lack of a better term) - some are far more important to me than others (at different times), starting with the "me" node at the center.
i have sometimes described my relative world as analogous to a series of concentric (somewhat nebulous) circles, with myself at the center. the further out from my center things are, the less significant they are to (they have less impact on) my life, generally speaking. and of course things move between the circles as life moves on. when i was young, my parents were right in the next circle outside me. today, they would be a few circles out.
i am probably misunderstanding, but this subject (existentialism) seems to have a bit of the "individual vs collective" (false) dichotomy embedded in it. or is that me imposing something?