This is an area that I have changed my mind in. There was a time when I didn't think that genuine, meaningful friendships could be formed online. In the days of snail mail I knew that penpal relationships could be formed, but for some reason I thought that internet friendships were shallow.
I now know that isn't true. Behind every screen name is a real person. I person that is capable of forming and maintianing friendships. I have formed some very close friendships with some of the people I met on EP. I have met some of these friends in real life, and others I hope to meet someday. In fact, one of my best friendships was formed on EP, but now is maintianed in other ways as this person is no longer on EP.
If you are still looking for that close online friendship hang in there.....I know that it is possible to have.