In World of Warcraft (and most MMO's from what I've seen), there exists RL friends (real life) and online friends. Sure there are those online friends that can cross over to become RL friends, and those RL friends that can (finally) get online. And with some of these cross-overs, it's possible to have a friend be both. But I'm talking about the destinction between the two today; and there is a definite line of demarcation between RL friends and online friends.
(While it's not always true, I'm going to make a simplification and call the online friends "Guildies". I am perfectly aware that most people probably have friends that are outside of your guild. Furthermore, there's probably guildies that aren't your friends; in fact, those people probably drive you crazy to the point that you'd like to throw a RL fireball crit to their head, but I digressed.)
For the sake of definition, guildies are those that you met online. By the true sense of the word, you somehow got persuaded to join this motly guild and inherited some of the people/friends that come along with it. As a general rule, you've probably never seen these people, except for maybe their facebook or myspace pages. These people don't have any way to contact you outside of the game, except for maybe an official guild forums. You may know that these people have children, but only because they tell the guild to watch their language because of "little ears". Conversations occur regularly, but are limited to in-game whispers, guild chat, or Ventrillo/Team Speak. You probably spend time with these people, because you want to run an instance, and there's usually loot in it for you. It's even possible that you've done something nice for these guildies, such as running their alts through Dead Mines.
RL friends are people outside of online games. They're the people you know from school, work, your neighborhood, etc. You generally have no problem talking to these people on the phone, hanging out with them, etc. If they ask for help moving something, you're there. They might need a small loan, and that's not a problem either. Maybe you bought them lunch just for the heck of it. You may exchange Christmas or Birthday gifts. I'm sure you get them a wedding present as well. They're friends in every true sense of the word.
So, assuming you have guildies or online friends. How far do you stray into RL friend area with them? Have you met up with them? Have you helped any of them out financially? (That would include buying them lunch.) Would you be willing to recommend one of them for a job position? Do you have any of their phone numbers? E-mail addresses? Home addresses? Basically, what would you do for your guildies?
Personally, a lot of that demarcation line has blurred for me. The first guild I was in was created by me, my best friend, and his brother. Everyone that became part of that guild was known by somebody in the guild in RL. The connection was kind of long at times (my best friend's brother's wife's parents were in the guild (whom I knew in RL as well)), but it was a connection nonetheless.
When Primogeniture was started, it was best friend's cousin's friend's friend that first suggested the idea. We both live in Southern California, but never got around to meeting up, but I would have had no hang ups about meeting him in person. I've had current guildies over to my house for raid nights. Heck, if I didn't live so far away from the now, they'd probably still be coming over on Wednesday nights. I've helped a couple of them out financially. (They were small amounts, please no begging.)
So, what are your thoughts on how you treat online friends? How far would you go? lol.