Banks are insured and regulated, online wallets are not.
It's not inconceivable that online wallet services are insured and regulated as well - who says traditional banks could not be the ones offering Bitcoin services in the future? Who says current regulations for financial institutes are not extended to include companies dealing with cryptocash?
Of course we're not there yet by far and you're right insofar as current services have probably done more harm than good but then again - who knows how many of the Bitcoins from mybitcoin.com would have been stolen by hackers/viruses if they were all kept on private computers all the time instead?
Keep your funds in your own personal wallet and don't download countless closed-source bitcoin software and you'll be fine. If your worried about not being able to have access to your bitcoins on-the-run, keep an encrypted back-up on your usb drive or smartphone SD card. Might be a bit more of a hassle, but so is losing your hard earned bitcoins at the fault of someone you know won't be paying you back when he/she fucks up.
Yes - keeping most of your Bitcoins offline is a very advisable strategy but it is not impossible for an "online" wallet service to offer such a thing as well (requiring you for example to phone in personally if you want to withdraw your offline funds). It makes little difference though, if you lose your Bitcoins due to some own stupid mistake or due to some security breach at an online service. Everybody has to decide for himself which one he deems more likely - I'm just arguing that for many people it would not only be more convenient but also much safer if they let some reputable third party handle the bulk of their Bitcoins.
There are various things offering distributed processing but what caused me to try to follow 'e' was its claim of being able to operate trusted (and distributed) computing on untrusted systems...
While you can design systems that perform trusted processing tasks on untrusted remote environments - I think it is fundamentally impossible to make such guarantees for your local system without some hardware DRM support. If for example you have a rootkit tapping into the input and output channels of your computer (eg keyboard and screen) - undetectable for the normal operating system then you're pretty much out of luck.
I think people demanding that everyone must not trust anybody but themselves with their Bitcoins should get things into perspective: everybody not having performed an extensive code audit of the client by himself is implicitly trusting the core devs with _all_ his/her money anyway. While you're at it you better audit the sources for your operating system as well - how sure can you really be that its entropy pool isn't skewed?
It really strikes me as hypocritical to hear people laugh about others who trust third parties with their Bitcoins, when in effect we all do to some extent. Small portions of unwarranted trust are an essential building block of our society - no social structures could have evolved without us trusting each other even though we can't assess all the risks involved.
My point is: while Bitcoin can relieve us from some forms of third party trust - it is an illusion to think that we finally don't have to trust anybody anymore with our money. This is no black and white issue and everybody has to draw the line somewhere. For some that might be the confines of their own computer but many people are probably better off putting more trust into a reputable online service than in the software that runs on their laptop.