There was a definite tug of war between two competing versions of what the metaverse means. One of them is the virtual world thing that most readers of this blog will be familiar with. The other is the annotated world augmented reality thing, which is the idea of pulling web data into the real world by overlaying it on our physical existence via heads-up specs and the like. In between is the mirrorworld which is a compromise, replicating the real world into virtual space and then annotating it there.
I have little doubt that all of these are dreams that are under development. But they dont all seem to me to be the same thing at all, and I think they serve different purposes because of their usage patterns. Virtual worlds are primarily, and will continue to be primarily, for leisure time activities. Augmented reality serves a primarily practical purpose, and will continue to be best-suited for that. The killer apps for augmented reality lie in local economy applications: real estate, comparative shopping, navigation, interpersonal interaction annotation (heads-up tickler files over peoples heads, etc). The killer apps for virtual worlds have been, and will remain, chatting, hanging out with friends, and entertainment.