What would be interesting to know is:
-what other software packages have you looked at in the last while (to replace LMCE)?
I honestly haven't bothered to go looking for other alternatives as I find LMCE is great! I had a full blown 3-4 station MythBuntu system working and that was fine, but it lacked some of the extra functions that LMCE offers that I would say are now my "must have" features and I would feel 'naked' without them! (specifically for me: X10 integration; IR control; different users; easy Samba shares; easy media discovery; UI2 and gyro control, network booting MD's, various orbiters, events & scenarios, etc)
I downloaded the XBMC iso and booted off it to have a look and yeah, their screens are super pretty, but it doesn't have a PVR so it's useless to me. LMCE will never look that fancy because LMCE has to display on a wide variety of screens and to get that means some of our screens have to look "1982-ish" in order to be so flexible. I don't see anything wrong with the look and feel of UI2 and a gyro. There are some things that can be tidied up but none of those things are show stoppers.
You won't appreciate UI1 until you see it rendered on different orbiters (like a cell phone or PDA or web) and then realize, gee, you can still do all this wonderful stuff from any device. So it's not as pretty as XBMC, but you have so many more options!
I have to thank Thom for educating us on the inner workings of LMCE. There are a few things I think are kinda crazy too, but when you understand why certain things have to work in a particular fashion, it starts to make sense. I thought there was a significant change between the 7.10 betas and the 7.10RC2 package. One can only imagine what good things await us in later releases.
You've made your points about what you like and dislike about LMCE, so perhaps you can now tell us about the other software you are trying out. I'd be interested to hear about it (but I doubt the rest of the readers will be).
There's no sense continuing to bash the project in this thread, so instead, let's hear about the other software you are sampling or just stop posting. It's time to agree to disagree!