The people that are listed in my profile as friends are there either because they asked me to be a PF friend (the distinct minority), or because I asked them due to some feeling on my part (after reading dozens, maybe hundreds, of their posts) that I had gotten to know
and therefore trust them in some simpatico
sense. You, turbo, are one such person.
I've never met anybody in person that I've conversed with online, though I still trade emails with people who I became acquainted with more than a decade ago via other websites like the old mp3.com, soundclick.com, usenet's sci.physics.com, and various science oriented yahoo and google groups that I no longer frequent.
It's interesting how one can get a certain measure and estimation of a person's personality, etc. from online discussions.
I fairly recently resumed contact, via the internet, with an old friend (an old roommate and close personal friend) who I hadn't seen in almost 40 years, and who a mutual friend and I thought had passed away.
But that's getting off-topic. Anyway, to reply to your OP, no I don't have any close
PF friends, but there are at least a couple dozen PF contributors who I consider to be online
friends (in the simpatico sense, ie., I think I know where they're coming from and generally like their posts) -- and I'll get around to asking some of those who aren't now on my PF friends list to be PF friends. If they accept, then great. If not, then they can go to hell.
Nice topic as usual, turbo, and interesting comments.