A Snarkling looks at her date book:
"I have several clients I've never met whose work I've sold." How common or uncommon is this? Should I want to do lunch with my agent--or is it simply an excue to go to Manhattan for the day? Has the whole biz become more depersonalized with the internet and email? Heck, there are friends that I don't talk to on the phone as much as before because of email and IM
Miss Snark loves you but you aren't going to lunch with her. First, lunches are reserved for editors with big fat expense accounts who are going to buy your work. Second, Miss Snark is working if she's not lunching.
If we are going to sign contracts, meet editors, or otherwise WORK (or celebrate a big success) then ok. But just lunching to chit chat, meet and greet, is hugely inefficient. I've done it, particularly with clients who are older, and used to a more genteel business climate, but I don't like it. I'd rather work on your behalf than eat lunch.
And it's very common to have clients you've never met.