So I tried Second Life again, despite my difficulties getting going with it the first time. Surely they've got stuff ironed out now, right?
And it's pretty easy to sign up, and you get a fairly nice-looking avatar by default (mine was "city chic", which pretty much describes me in First Life as well), and you download the client, which they probably have one for your platform, and it all works. And you find yourself on this friendly-looking island and the tutorial tells you how to walk around and say things and stuff. And there are a few other virtual people standing around.
But it's not clear if they can hear you when you speak -- and if they're trying to chat with you, how would you find out? Maybe there's a "chat" window that you can pull up. I found a window that maybe wanted to be that one ("History"?) ... but only some of my utterances seemed to show up there.
So I walked around on that little island for a few minutes, trying to figure out how to get to another island -- and there's this "teleport" button, but how do I use it, and why is it grayed out?
... after a while, I found that I'd hit something that turned off my walking. My arrow keys would turn me in place, but I couldn't walk around anymore. And there's no clear "oh, you're in 'don't walk anymore' mode" indicator. Buh?
And that was enough to end my second foray into Second Life. There are only so many minutes in the day.
I think my experience was rather more anticlimactic than Drew's. He at least found out how to go places. But neither of us could figure out how to hit people.