The IETF is meeting in Chicago this week and I am participating remotely via Meetecho. The remote participation service is improving every IETF it seems, saving me from a lot of long distance traveling hassle during the semester. While the people providing the remote participation service do a wonderful job, I believe a big part of this working well for me is that I know many of the regular contributors good enough from prior meetings I attended in person so that I can extract many soft signals just from the voice stream.
During all the recent meetings I attended remotely, I noticed that not attending in person adds a certain (in my view useful) distance to the discussions; hot topics seem to be way less hot if you look at them from the perspective of a remote participant.
Brian Trammel recently posted that having jet lag at home is a bit weird. Well, perhaps it is, but I find jet lag at home way more convenient than being away for a whole week and suffering from jet lack after returning home.