In 1994, my first real job was as an inside sales rep for a start-up desktop videoconferencing (DVC) company in Washington, D.C. Previous to that, for my senior term paper at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, I wrote “End User Support for Videoconferencing.” I also worked in the telecommunications department as a student managing the videoconferencing units while I attended university. Based on this, I'm proud to say I have considerable insight, experience, and historical knowledge about why videoconferencing sucks. (Well, back then it really sucked, but it sure seemed cool at the time.) It wasn't that the technology didn't work; it sucked because meeting participants let the technology take over. They thought the technology would somehow magically create an unforgettable experience.
That was then, and this is now. Dare I say, vast and exponential leaps have been made in the technology? People have become more accustomed to its use, and it's even readily available for free via Skype, Yahoo!, AOL, and other online media. In addition, high-definition telepresence videoconferencing has emerged. These provide a high quality of video and audio that have made this way of conducting meetings a power to be reckoned with.
Yes, videoconferencing has its bennies. It eliminates expensive travel time because physical location doesn't matter as long as reliable bandwidth and adequate equipment are available.
Know what's really cool? Ad hoc meetings across continents now ...