> Of course, many of Debian's users ride the testing or unstable releases
> and pay little attention to stable releases.
Well, that's not entirely true for those of us on testing. A release freeze means that updates to testing essentially stop. We get bugfixes for the next stable and that's it. I've been waiting a very long time for gcc 4.5.x for example. I certainly pay attention to the release status when a freeze is in place.
This is the tradeoff going with testing instead of unstable. I get a more solid distribution at the cost of extended update stalling every now and then.
Now, the interesting question concerns why we have so many release-critical bugs in testing if the point of testing was to shake out bugs early-on in the release process. I suspect that not enough people are using unstable and reporting bugs against it before the 10-day-to-testing window passes. If we got that worked out we could possible see more frequent stable releases.