Nearly a month has elapsed since Debian released Lenny. The interesting thing for me about this release was that I failed to get to the point where running etch was causing me pain. This became even more evident when Katherine commented on my Lenny T-Shirt - I'd forgotten to mention our release to her! Previously there have been a bunch of features coming that I really wanted, sometimes to the point of using backports. It's probably something to do with the way I run Debian; I use stable for remote machines and while in the past this would have meant quite a few work boxes these days it's just a box at my parents' and my colo.
Where I felt the pain during this release cycle was on the boxes where I run unstable (my home desktop) or testing (my work box and my laptops). Development on new shininess slows down significantly while we're preparing for release (not unsurprisingly). And there are things coming up I quite like the look of, largely aimed at the desktop arena. I've been running Network Manager 0.7 from experimental on my EEE, for example - I need the HSO 3G support to avoid unnecessary faff on a daily basis. I've got ATI cards in my work and home desktops, so I'm watching the Mesa developments with interest - roll on OpenGL 2.0 support hopefully. The Intel KMS support that doesn't seem to be quite there yet but RSN, no, really, will be nice for my laptops. Experimental VDRs are looking interesting and perhaps worth upgrading my PVR to.
For a long time I haven't really understood the point of view that Debian shouldn't release. Or rather, I haven't understood why people would think that was a serious option. The first Debian box I installed went into a colo facility shortly afterwards. This is the first release I've not been running Debian on a commercial colo box and while I treat my personal colo in a similar fashion it's not quite the same in terms of priorities. However I still think regular releases are hugely important to the project. Some pain for those of us more interested in new shiny is a small price to pay for producing a flexible, reliable distribution, be they server administrators (though I see a worrying number of people decide to install testing on their production servers and then rarely/never update it), derivers or appliance vendors.
Mind you, now we've released I'm going to have to do all those things I've been putting off. I should probably start with moving my Perl bits into pkg-perl. And maybe I should switch over some sources.list files to point at squeeze instead of lenny...