>It depends on their end goal as to what makes sense for them - a firmware free Linux or a firmware free *nix.
I can image their goal is an operating system which does not depend on non-free software. Linux will do just fine as the kernel for that operating system, but for a few snags.
I get the impression that you (any many here) have a very pessimistic view of the capabilities of a blob-stripped linux, even comparing it to HURD in terms of functionality. But it is just plain old linux as you know it, just with some (often replaceable) hardware that might not work.
The linux-libre kernel finds its way into several distributions, at least one of which I know has a live-cd, which makes it an ideal tool to determine if your next purchase is freedom-compatible enough to be worth your money.
Ultimately the existence of linux-libre could make the lives of everyone easier, including those whose play loose and soft with software freedom in the name of pragmatism.
The need to criticize a project that puts anyone in a win-win situation eludes me.