How much exposure do you have on the net? Often someone will pull the plug on a process because they found some social chatter with your name on it that they didn't like, whether or not you were actually involved or not.
I have telecommuted for several gigs and positions. The most difficult situation to deal with is when most of the rest of the company doesn't telecommute, so everyone is not in the habit of cluing you in to what's going on. You may have all the tools required to establish and maintain decent communications, but they often don't bother to adopt any of it for their end. I even remote-developed for a large networking company with enormous communications facilities designed to solve problems like that -- but they had me fly over to headquarters all the time instead.
Thanks for bringing up that bit about being left out by coworkers. It reminded me of a passage from "Being Geek". Luckily the book is largely compiled from blog posts and here's the relevant post by Rands on the inadvertent exclusion faced by lone telecommuters attached to onsite teams: http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2009/04/15/the_pond.ht...
Folks who go beyond Sr. Engineer are very much into putting their ducks in a row -- with extreme prejudice. They become CTO, Consultant, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Fellow, Startup Partner. That person initiates projects, begins the R&D, writes the proposal, estimates the budget, create slides and do presentations, evangelizes the ideas. You sometimes orchestrate prototype development if you don't get to put one together yourself. If necessary you take the idea and build a company around it.
I have 30 years of experience in software development, with a computer science degree from the University of Illinois. I applied for a position at SEOmoz a few months ago. No phone screen interview. The CEO's comments seem to imply a very selective criteria was used to hire, and that it took them months. We don't know what criteria was used by SEOmoz to hire those candidates. I found his comments regarding older people slower to learn new stuff "enlightening".