Think of a phone pitch as IMing/messaging on Match.com before actually having a first date (I guess that makes your product your Match.com profile?). If you're local to the VC, keep the phone pitch short; I tend to do 30 mins, which is longer than the few mins Fred suggests, but I can't help myself from asking questions and wanting to get to know you once I hear the elevator pitch. For me, the call is not about a go/no go on an investment, it's about a go/no go on investing more time.
I doubt I'm alone. Consequently, if you took Fred's suggestion to the extreme and universalized it, with every entrepreneur requiring an in person meeting for a pitch, while the entrepreneurs that get a meeting will have all the benefits of a face to face meeting, as a whole, it's going to be harder for entrepreneurs to get meetings, and those that do will have to wait longer to get that meeting.