Well, in a perfect world I’d just work on Lamson but the days of companies actually paying people to work on open source are pretty much over.
Have I missed something? I thought that, at least, most of the kernel and gcc devs were employed by companies to work on those projects. Is he right, and something has fundamentally changed?
And of course Lamson is not GCC or the kernel. Those are very special cases, look at the GNOME or KDE project... or Django for you web guys, who gets paid to work on Django? not even JKM
And lets not forget Rails....
In fact, IBM, one of the largest paying contributors to Eclipse, also pays people to work on a boatload of open source stuff. You don't realize until you actually dig into it yourself.
In contrast, for example, a PHP programmer who probably does PHP day-in-day out and not much else is going to find it pretty easy to fix a bug in a PHP framework him/herself and therefore his/her employer doesn't need to pay a big support contract. If problems are found they are probably in the development phase and if the team can't work around them, I would expect any number of freelancers could pick up the problem and fix it.
Basically I'm saying it's supply and demand.