I think his point is that he and the 'NM crew' are actually going through the effort to get this shit working, which nobody else is really doing. At least nobody working on making it easy for users to auto-configure this stuff.
This 'modem' effort is relatively recent push on the part of the network-manager folks.
Previously they concentrated on 802.11 wireless and that sort of thing and thus far, as my personal experience can tell, that stuff works very well now.
Of course it is not perfect, but it is much better then the nightmare configuring Fedora for multiple networks used to be. (hell, getting my workmate's Motorola phone working on it took multiple weeks to get working in a usable manner. And even after that he would have to occasionally log into Windows when it would refuse to connect after a while)
Although I found Debian's configuration stuff worked pretty well for command-line user types. Quite liked it once I figured it out..
I think that Network-manager is more capable, and hacker friendly, then people think it is. Originally it was horrible.. but its had a couple rewrites as far as I can tell. I figure if somebody doesn't know what Network-Manager dispatcher is for then they are probably missing out on some cool possibilities.
The only thing that has been missing out for me is good command line tools, but they seem to be fixing that.