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BBS's are NOT coming back, at least not in their former form. There were only a few BBS's that ever got really big in the old days (Mindvox and The Well come to mind). This was mainly due to the high infrastructure costs. Since most BBS's were run by amateurs they could hardly afford racks of modems and servers. The availability of high-bandwith net connections and the near ubiquity of the net has killed almost all of the old school BBS's.

However, one of the really nice things about BBS's were that they tended to be local (to avoid high telco charges), and formed tight little communities. This could certainly be duplicated on the net, and has been. If you look at all of the club sites on the net; Yahoo Clubs, Ecircles, etc. you will see that they reproduce almost of the features of a BBS. Namely: forums, chat, file archives, news of the day. BBS's also provided email, but that has been replaced by internet mail which obviously has a much greater reach.

I do miss all the boards though, ascii art and all.