Riley over at Virginia Virtucon has an excellent post that talks about Party building. He talks about how a party should be built by always recruiting the best candidate possible from D.C. to your local school board.
This is true, but a lot of party building has to begin at the local level. Better organization and consistent by local party committees is what lays down the foundation for better success on a larger level. I get the sense that many local party committees in areas like Northern Virginia felt such a sense of defeat before they even got started. It may have been a subconscious sense of defeat, but some of the reports I've heard state that the GOP basically did not show up to support their candidates in many key precincts.
Maybe some of the local party organizations needs to be shook up and replaced with more enthusiastic people.