I would love to see an explosion of Bitcoins on the web; I think slowly, more and more people are becoming aware of it. It is already far more successful than alternatives such as Ripplepay (at least the last time I checked).
ripplepay is not an alternative to bitcoins, it is complementary. Leaving aside some issues I have with the bitcoin model for the moment, the power of a combination of a cryptocurrency with a peer to peer credit network like ripple is awesome.
bitcoins are cash, ripple does credit. Any cash system will always get credit derivatives of it created, since if a system works as cash then it must be scarce, and demanded, which naturally causes credit derivatives to appear.
bitcoins can be used to clear debts accrued in ripple. in particular, ripple provides for peer to peer credit clearing. Currently the residual debts left at the end of a ripple chain must be cleared outside the system using whatever currency the two parties agree (the debt can even be settled by a favour, like having the debtor wash your car or something). But when these dents are settled for money, the two parties still have to go to a clearing house like a bank to settle the debt.
however with cryptocurrency, it becomes possible to settle debts peer-peer without using the mainstream clearing houses.
This also opens the possibility of having automated settlement - that is, when your ripple connection hits their credit limit with you, the system can be setup to automatically transfer bitcoins to settle the debt, even if both parties are asleep. THis would help to ensure that the ripple network maintains maximum liquidity, and makes ripple more attractive to maerchants, who'd get paid immediately rather than havnig to settle debts outside the system after the fact.