Support for "distance learning" can mean many things. I take it though that you are primarily concerned with support for "synchronous" tools such as chat, shared white board, etc. I think we are all in agreement that synchronous tools are an important component of eLearning. OACS' strength is that it provides the foundation and infrastructure for adding other elements. For example, we would certainly like to see Jabber incorporated as part of OACS/.LRN and would encourage it's incorporation.
Another major area of support for distance learning is an LMS component. This would not be a single tool but a whole set of functionality such as assessment, curriculum, and portfolio. We were hoping that Berklee would contribute this to OACS but they have declined to make their code available to the community. Thus, we will have to find other means.
The short answer is that we will be moving in the direction you propose. We will be able to do so because OACS provides a solid foundation.