> Then why do so many Red Hat employees work directly on Gnome as well as the graphics stack infrastructure (X et al) ?
Few people want to pay for a Linux Desktop because it's always really sucked. Traditionally speaking (past decade or so) you have always been far more productive in the majority of corporate environments by using a Windows desktop, installing a bunch of unix-related admin tools, and then having a separate Linux node you did your Linux/Unix hacking and administrative tasks from.
I expect that Redhat is interested in changing this. (I have found that Windows in VM on Linux provides good productivity) I also expect it's a difficult to allocate resources due to lack of current financial incentive.