I find it quite interesting, the most dogged article of the month, and it's about a program that allows Social interaction... On Slashdot?! Go Figure.
A few Stats for the naysayers:
50,000-75,000 players at any given time (24/7)
Well over a Million US Dollars spent daily in world.
Personally, I run 4 'sims' (16 acre chunks of land) and pull in a profit of well over 200-300 US Dollars a month. My community has well over 250 members, and atleast 50 of them are online daily and interact. To the (seems barren, and your always alone) crap, we usually average about 10 - 20 people in-city at any given time, around 40 at bi-weekly events. Personally I pull down 30 bucks in tips whenever we have a gathering.
No Sex/Furry/Slave/camping bullcrap.
The community is a Thriving place for friends, and hell I even get a chance to blow stuff up. Usually disassemble old buildings by Demolition (fire, boom crash).
Reuters Leaving Second Life, well cya. All they tended to do was report on useless stuff and their 'feeds' in world, lagged the hell out of servers.
As for crappy graphics... Hand any amateur a set of 3d tools, you shouldn't expect Fallout 3. Personally, I see graphics in world that blows away any MMO/RPG.