Hey all - good to see this thread back after a good break. Hopefully everyone has been doing well, and that we've all had some time to learn more!
My latest take on remoting is that I still like it, I'm praying for a stand-alone server, that will run on apache's tomcat. It's already been done by a few, but mm hasn't officially supported it yet. My point is that since Apache seems to be the most popular web server, it's bound to happen. Even without mm's approval, if it works, people will probably use it anyway.
That's a bit off topic, a few other things I think are good reasons to use remoting, or at least that the idea is a good one:
I've always stayed away from using xml unless I was using it with the socket server, in which case the xml docs being sent back and forth were fairly small. Whenever I tried to load anything fairly large, the player would freeze up for a few seconds while it parsed the data. This is really, really, really bad from my point of view. One thing I've always tried to do with my flash projects is to make them run smoothly even on my aging powerbook (which also is my dev machine!). One of my biggest complaints from clients is that it runs too fast on their pc's!!
If I was able to directly connect to a remote web-service, I think I'd be all for using an xml solution, but since I can't (security restrictions!) I have to connect to a server in my domain, which in turn connects to the service and returns the results. At this point, I'd rather not do anymore parsing/processing. By the time it gets back to flash, I want my data to be ready to use! This is where remoting comes in, my data will come back as an object, ready for use in my flash.
I guess that's about it, my point being that no matter what, If I want data from anywhere outside my flash movie (with the exception of text files) I will need something additional running on a server in my domain. PHP would be the first choice, but if that's not available, my second choice would be a remoting server with their choice of j2ee/database combination. At least then I'll have a good idea how to use it, and should they really want to use that one component, It'll already work with it.