Good point about the concerns about web applications, and their "feel". They can also be very limited when not connected.
However, I believe that Google already has technology to bridge the gap between the connected and unconnected times, and that it has been available to developers for some time now. If the phone platform takes advantage of that capability (which it surely will even if not at rollout), it means the user gets the best of both worlds... like a native app when not connected, but web connectivity when available. Either way, it has the potential to feel more like a native app than a web-based app.
Maybe someone else can fill us in more on where this stands and whether it's part of the Android mobile platform.