The "real question" is not whether net metering is good or bad. Of course it's good, and it will continue to become more common as solar (and even wind) micro-generation technology improves. It will get an even bigger boost if EV technology with bidirectional charging and large storage batteries become more popular, as Tesla would like them to. The dispute here isn't over net metering itself. The issue is all about the MONEY of net metering. Who pays what, and how? Before net metering, utility rates were set based on a fixed connection fee to pay for certain fixed infrastructure costs, plus an energy charge per kWh to gover generation costs. For large commercial users, the fixed fee was set as a "demand charge" based on peak consumption (since that determines how hefty the grid needs to be to serve the customer). For residential users, the demand charge is usually just a flat fee per month for the connection. In practice the demand/connection fee is not enough to actually cover the fixed costs of the system, and a lot of that expense is rolled into the energy rates. That doesn't matter in a world without net metering - it makes no difference to the utility whether they get their money per kWh or per month, as long as they get the money. Net metering screws this all up. A net-metered user may have zero net consumption in a month, while still requiring the same infrastructure as a user without net metering. As a result, the demand or connection charge needs to be greatly increased to make up for the lost kWh revenue.
The problem is that the adjustment of rates to accommodate net metering has been a hugely political process with every party trying to screw everyone else to the max. Solar companies want their customers to see huge financial benefits to justify their prices, so they lobby for net metering rates that strongly favor their customers: low monthly charges (ideally the same as for non-net-metered customers), with reimbursement for net metered power at the full retail rate (i.e. 1kWh sold back to the power company nets you the same money you would pay to buy the 1kWh from the power company). This makes solar look like a great investment. The problem is that is really does screw the power company. Since utilities are typically government-controlled monopolies, that means it actually screws the non-solar customers who will all be forced to pay for the net-meter-users' share of infrastructure. Not quite fair. On the other hand, though, we have utility companies trying to get the solar power as cheaply as possible while still collecting full reimbursement for infrastructure costs. They want to treat net-metered customers like power plants: charge them for all the infrastructure costs, and only buy their power at "wholesale" rates that are far less than what the consumer pays for power going the other direction on the same wires. This is also not fair, and screws the people who want to invest in solar by artificially depressing the value of their power. The solution must lie somewhere in-between. Utility rates and their basic method of allocating them will need to change, and it will take honest politicians not bought off by solar companies or utilities to reach a compromise that is fair for everyone. Fat chance of that happening any time soon.