It is happening now in some areas with Seminary for those who can't attend the traditional early morning classes. Our stake is part of the pilot program, and I have been impressed overall - even though I was skeptical a bit at first, given my background in education and instructional software. In a couple of years, when the Church has gone through the entire four-year cycle of classes and has time to work out system bug issues, I can see it being rolled out broadly for all students who have been doing home-study Seminary. It is not designed as a replacement for traditional Seminary, but it is a wonderful program and effort.
I agree totally with the recent statement in General Conference about the danger of losing tangible, physical contact in the temptation to interact more and more online, but I also believe strongly in the power of online interaction - obviously, given my rather prolific participation in the Bloggernacle. There is great potential for something like that to be a positive force, but there also is great potential for negative influences in a setting like that. Can you imagine a testimony meeting (or any meeting, really) in a setting where concerted hacking is a possibility?
There are issues that would have to be reconciled (like how to handle things like the sacrament), but if the sacrament is not being taken anyway (since the people aren't attending anyway) . . . [Note: My friend suggested mailing congregants a packet of pre-blessed bread and water that could be used at the appropriate time. There are plenty of factors about that suggestions that concern me, but I don't rule it out automatically.]
Overall, I really like and would support the idea if it could be limited to those who are in locations and situations where they simply can't attend. I wouldn't want it to be a substitute for physical attendance with people who are capable of attending the traditional services. To me, a HUGE part of charity and true Zionist community is learning to interact with, serve and actually love those with whom I disagree, even passionately about some things - and I'm not sure a virtual ward would be able to provide that in quite the same way as a traditional ward can.
Rather than seeing it as virtual ward (with all of the callings associated with the traditional organization), I can see the basic format of the Sunday Meetings being broadcast live - with talks, prayers, classes, etc. provided by a core group of members. Again, however, it probably would need to be "restricted" to members identified by their Branch Presidents, Mission Presidents and Bishops as not being able to attend the traditional services - through a user name and password like is in place to access lds.org's stake and ward directories section.
That was my initial reaction. I certainly am open to other views and suggestions.