As a person who had to teach myself, had to deal with a broken higher education system in my country (Vietnam) and is currently attending a university in the U.S, I agree with you. There are more than just what is taught in the course, for example the professors, the atmosphere, the connections with other students, and courses that you don't even know that you need -- they can only be found when one attends college. IMHO colleges do a better job with teaching general concepts such as physics, philosophy, art; and online materials do better job teaching specific subjects (especially in Computer Science) -- one can go very deep on a subject matter that they finds interesting. Good thing is online materials and colleges are not mutually exclusive: One can have both. I still learn from online materials everyday.
That said, I always think that I'm extremely lucky to be able to attend and afford college in the U.S. For people those do not have money (students in third world countries), sure online materials cannot deliver the experiences of MIT, but they are still way better than listening to crap they have to listen to everyday (in most colleges).
Bill's statement might not hold water for colleges in the US but it's already true in many parts of the world.