I think it depends on what type of feeling that you get from talking to them as to how soon you actually meet. There should not be any set time frame, and you should not drag it out just for the sake of it. You go out with people that you meet at the supermarket, club, or gas station within a weeks time after meeting them in most cases, and most of us have done this all of our lives. If you continue the chatting type of relationship for any extended period of time you risk giving the impression of only wanting to be a cyber friend regardless of what you may be saying about finding and meeting Mr or Mrs right. I personally feel that if we establish some sort of relationship through chatting, or start to feel as if there is some sort of chemistry developing between us, then we should decide if we want to take that next step and go ahead and do it. You run the same risks that women are worried about whether you meet someone on the web or in person, you just have to be wise and trust your instincts. Men and women both have had bad experiences with the opposite sex and if we allow those isolated incidents to dominate our thoughts and feelings about getting back out there and giving someone new a chance, then we will continue to be members of sites such as this or worse never date again. Chat until you are comfortable that the person may be someone that you might enjoy being with and don't be afraid to go for it. That is the outcome that I seek, to successfully meet a wonderful woman and within a reasonable amount of time begin to cultivate a relationship and remove any and all profiles that I may have on dating sites, because I will not need them any more.
I've got to agree with sapphiren and deb. I've met about 3 people online before (none from this site) and it was all after a bit of time and two were college mates where one was a potential ...something. Of course, with the potential we had spoken on the phone for a good bit before we met and apparently my looks didn't completely please him. But the moral of the story is, be careful.