Each time you view a web page, your computer has to make connections to the DreamHost computer to download stuff. In order to reduce the number of connections, your browser will decide how long it it keeps something around before it tries downloading it again. Thus if it decides to wait a minute, it will be at least a minute before another connection to the DreamHost computer is made, and your browser is told it can't have what it downloaded a minute ago.
Restarting the browser would only clear the memory cache. The browser also stores web pages in a disk cache. To override the cache mechanism, use Ctrl-F5 or hold down Shift when clicking on the Reload button.
The Web Panel changes the group ownership of the .htpasswd file to that of the same group as 'dhapache'. And since the group-readable permission is enabled, this allows 'dhapache' to read the passwords.
Perl / MySQL / HTML+CSS