First off I haven't even gotten Linux MCE functional yet, but I am working on it. I have made some rookie mistakes and I am currently trying to educate myself before spending more money!
I too agree that $ makes the world go around. Personally I am the kind of guy who will buy a $50 book/manual to tell me how to repair or build something worth $40 because the knowledge is worth it. I however have minimal (compared to those who will read this) hardware knowledge, And no knowledge of writing code, compiling, etc. I am planning to try and learn, but in the meantime I am incredibly thankful for the support of the various open source communities.
The money donation to make a driver or other tech related experience already exists, but the point this post has repeatedly mentioned is a "general fund" sort of concept. I myself would donate on a regular basis, I Love this program (even though I don't really have it functional yet) and I wish to give back to the community that has helped, and I am sure will help me in the future.
My biggest thought is how would such a general fund be disbursed? Who would get paid? Would there be enough money to pay everyone? I doubt it, for reasons mentioned above re: pluto. So who would be in charge of disbursing funds? And bear in mind their is a huge difference in doing something for the community which gives you the warm fuzzy feeling inside, and getting paid $1 for days of writing code, and checking it's function. Or maybe it could be used to purchase new hardware to check for compatability? But who gets to use that equipment if it works?
Most people are not happy with the way their government spends money, because governments are so big....so is this!
While I support the idea the general fund concept may cause more problems than it may help, people may start to feel they should have a voice (or a vote) in the way it is used.
Just my two cents. A HUGE thanks to the devs, and everyone who works so hard on this!!