At the recent AAS in Austin, it's clear that there is a renewed interest in data visualization on the part of astronomers. The large interest GoogleSky and the World Wide Telescope arose is just the tip of the iceberg.
Many are indeed asking how the National Virtual Observatory fits among these emerging technologies and the NVO mailing list has been rather active on this subject.
While I agree that one cannot confuse initiatives like GoogleSky and WWT with the NVO and in particular the fact that neither can at the moment really substitute the NVO, I remain open.
I believe that the NVO lacks the ability of massive visualization and manipulation of data, and that it's not moving fast enough in this direction.
I would advocate a much closer interaction between the NVO and industries like Google and Microsoft. Alex Szalay can teach all of us a lot about this!