The funny thing is that looking back to his complaints a great number of them have been addressed since 2004. Gconf is replaced by dconf, although probably it is something he would consider worse. Mozilla has been replaced by KHTML derived Webkit. Dependencies for Gnome have been much streamlined. Spatial Nautilus is gone. And a few other details.
I know that abandoning things like Sawfish and going with something much simpler really really pissed off a huge number of people for a very long time. I didn't really pay much attention to Linux political things back when I first started using Linux (and was delighted to learn I didn't need Gnome to run Enlightenment.) but I was still seeing Gnome 2 hate coming from people who liked all the configuration options and scripting that was available for Gnome 1.x up until a couple years ago.
Gnome forks as a response to Gnome 3 really amount to Cinnamon and Mate.
Mate should of been completely unnecessary. Looking back it's a stupid mistake of Gnome project to not make Gnome 2 and Gnome 3 install-able in parallel. Once they achieve the ability to easily install Gnome 2 on everybody's system that cares about it they will probably just go into maintenance mode.
Unity/XFCE et al started long before Gnome 3.
Cinnamon is a real swear-to-goodness fork of Gnome Shell to make it more Gnome 2 like. I actually see that going somewhere eventually. I was hoping they could it just through extensions, but I guess that was not possible.