In talking with industry insiders, it appears as if time has healed many wounds.
"When there's a Mount Rushmore of porn, her face will be on it," says Steven Hirsch, founder and CEO of Vivid Pictures. "I think the industry really owes Jenna a debt. She really was the first girl to push the industry into the mainstream. She should be credited for that. … My feeling is if she's comfortable getting back into the industry, then she should be welcomed."
No other adult performer has reached Jameson's level of fame in her heyday. She was a fan favorite whose face appeared on a multistory-high billboard in Times Square. Her book topped The New York Times best-seller list. And she sold her company, ClubJenna, to Playboy in 2006 for an undisclosed price. (ClubJenna had posted $30 million in revenues the year before.)
(Read more: Chart of the Day: What's bigger, porn or music?
The adult webcam category, which includes MyFreeCams and LiveJasmin, generates $1 billion in revenues and is growing fast, according to Sean Phillips, vice president of marketing for SexyJobs.com, a recruitment service for adult models.
Such sites are estimated to draw a total of 5 percent of Internet users worldwide, with some models making up to $100,000 a month.
Meanwhile, a Fleshlight contract can be especially lucrative. (When a performer's name appears on one of its products, it's a sure sign that he or she has achieved porn superstardom.)
"Jenna's huge—she's central in so many ways in this industry," says Kassia Wosick, an assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University who has studied the porn business. "It's a hard lifestyle to walk away from forever, especially when you've been as big as she has been."
(Read more: Building the iTunes of porn)
Those hoping for a full-fledged re-entry might be disappointed, however. Though studios would jump at the chance to put out a new film starring Jameson, those who have spoken with her say they don't believe she'll take that step.
"I don't feel we will see her performing," Helmy said. "At the end of the day ... she sold sex. We're trying to split hairs by looking at the level of the things she's doing."
—By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC