The fact that you need laboratory experience can be solved by having a student do internships in a laboratory. There are a number of social and technological reasons why online haven’t overwhelmed traditional universities yet, but none of them are unsurmountable.
The big thing that Harvard has going for it is marketing and money. Marketing and money are things that you can overcome.
I’ve been thinking about what MIT will be like thirty years from now, and I think that what will happen is that the Institute will focus at research and hands-on teaching, but that the concept of “undergraduate admissions” will be obsolete. Students will be on campus for intensive one month internships and conferences, and a lot of the students on campus will actually be getting coursework from other places.
The other idea is that conferences like the American Astronomical Society will also have informal schools associated with it. You get your degree online, but one of the requirements is that you must attend professional society conferences. Once you get lots of online students in one place, this will serve as an informal school.