I'm not having the "no internet connection" problem, but Help Viewer on Lion is incredibly slow for me. Searching for a particular item (even if I click one of the search suggestions under the search field) takes about 30 seconds. Pretty frustrating when I'm trying to look up something simple.
From your "Go" menu choose "Go to Folder" then enter ~/Library/Caches
Delete these items
Log out and back in or restart.
I am getting the same error message. I tried the suggestion posted above, but only the only file available was: com.apple.helpd I deleted it, but I am still getting the same error?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
From what I understand, some of the files may be under be in /Library/Caches, and some may be in /Library/Preferences. Also, in my case they were all in the user library (/username/Library) rather than in the System library. A related issue and instructions (a bit outdated) are posted on the VMWare fusion site:
Anyway, I was having the same problem, and I think it had to do with switching my system from Spanish to English. After deleting the files as described by macjack, everything is working so far, although please bear in mind that I'm not an expert.