So I'm reading back through your columns now.... =P
Anyways, I don't feel that it is all a one way street for RPing.
Really good Table Top RPing will ALWAYS be better than CRPGs. Why? Because I can't see the fear, the excitement, the sweat on the faces of my players.
When I play in a RPG I want a coherent story that makes me and my friends the center of the adventure and story. I want My character's story told. I don't want my adventurers to be some sub adventurer that helped that stupid hobbit along his way. No, I WANT TO BE FRODO! Oh, and I don't want to have to Skin Fifty Thousand Farking Animals so I can wear Frodo's Farking Grey Ass Cape either.
This is the primary problem with CRPGs. Their stories are not tailored enough. Their world is too much of a grind, and all the special and Magic is Sucked Right out of them when I see Five other Dudes running around with the Same Rare Ass Shite My character is wearing. Wait, you Killed Dunkelzahn Too!? UNPOSSIBLE!
I've played WoW, I've played SW:Galaxies, and I've played Guild Wars (thinking I could stand it if I didn't have to pay for the time...I was wrong.)
And time commitment!? Hell! I spend less time gaming on TT than I ever did with a CRPG! They're not joking when they say it's a grind, and if you don't want to be the stupid farm boy from Tatooine for the next for years than you sure as hell better start going out there and killing every g*d*mn Womp rat and skinning every corpse so that you can get a crappy black pistol, then later trade up for the same pistol that's bronze than does 1 point more of damage.
IOWs, there is a suspension of reality, but when it borders on the absurd it fails to truly draw a person in. CRPGs are here, and they're going to stay, but they are not the end all be all of RPGs. They are not the TV to Table Top RPGs, in fact, I would almost say they are the reverse in what they can convey, and their level of realism.
Maybe you shouldn't be comparing Tabletop RPGs to Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs, since they really have very little in common. A Tabletop game by nature is intimate, because few GMs can manage a game with tens of thousands of players at once. MMORPGs, on the other hand, are by nature, impersonal, because instead of having a human fry his brain trying to direct a unique narrative for tens of thousands of people at once, they must rely on a game-server that blindly applies "the rules" to everyone, with change coming at a glacial pace. Two completely different concepts, two wholly unique experiences. While I doubt MMOs can ever duplicate the madcap fun of a good TT experience, the converse is also true in that no TT game can come close to the scale of an MMO. Players in TT games are heroes, Frodo, if you will; players in MMOs are smaller parts of a larger whole, especially in some games like Planetside and EVE, where you are tiny, but massed in a group with a bunch of your friends you can be an army, sweeping all before you.