Skype had one glitch so far, I wonder how many '3' had since roll-out?
"a real, Ur-Web 2.0 company." --- really? I couldn't find that on the company's manifesto. Get ur glasses mate, Skype is a communication device in the form of a software period.
"Think of Skype as a kind of parasitic virus that threatens to bring the host to its knees" --- cool, that's the idea. When you are at home using broadband or have wifi somewhere else, just use Skype coz it makes more financial sense, £0!
"Well, Skype has no network of its own" --- has no "physical" network of its own. That's the point, it uses the incumbents' network in a p2p fashion, that's how those filesharing software work, but Skype sends voice data packets instead of hmm (illegal) filesharing data packets.
"And because Skype has next to no income," --- You got any proof of that coz Skype has a host of fee-paying services. I don't use all of them, but i use the pay-as-u-go option, more when I'm in a different country, Skype beats roaming charges.
"and because its users can melt away as rapidly as they joined, it has no chance of attracting the capital investment needed to build a real network of its own" --- customer loyalty, you really have to prove that! I joined Skype after reading an article in The Economist boasting the voice quality and reliability of this software. I have been with Skype since v1.0 and got a lot of people to use it too, starting with my folks who live on the side of the planet (am in London).
"...Skype, it found its fool in the shape of Meg Whitman of eBay..." --- I think it's safer to say that eBay is still figuring out a good business plan to make money out of Skype (post acquisition). It's not as simple as auctioning gadgets/clothes u know and you can't expect a financial miracle this soon.
"Hutchison has been pushing VoIP to the trapdoor for a while now." --- it's been a defensive move adopted by most Telcos. They want to block Skype traffic coz they know what Skype did to the landline Telcos. Whether this move is right/legal to do so is something else. If you want an analogy, think of Microsoft. (I have a feeling that you (the author) are biased towards 3-network, are they paying or something?)
...ok it's 3.41am, am done with page 1. Can someone finish this guy off?
PS. "Having a 3 phone pretty much marks you out as a cheapskate." - I think cheapskate is wrongly used here, you probably meant "Having a 3 phone pretty much marks you as having a lack of common sense." 3 network, back in the days, was pretty much the most unreliable network i've ever used. Go outside London and u'd wish u had a non-3G phone. Using a mobile network to channel data, get out of here, it's a poor choice (so far). 3G! Crickey!