Who wanted Chandler written enough to freely give time and money to do it? Primarily Mitch Kapor. Who thought they wanted to try it bad enough that they would ignore its problems? Almost no one. What happened when Mitch gave up and the product wasn't sufficiently high quality? It died.
Who wants Perl 6 to be written enough to freely give time and money to do it? Boatloads of people, including many Perl 5 heavy hitters. These folk are generally quiet but have made it clear (behind the scenes) that they are waiting till the time is right to get involved. For example Nicholas Clark began contributing (by testing) a few months ago.
Who thinks they want to use Perl 6 bad enough to put up with its problems? It's clear that millions of hackers are or would be open to it, including many Perl 5 users. These folk are generally quiet and just want whatever works. If Perl 6 meets their needs, they'll try it out. And it's clearly nearly there. As Larry recently said, the only big problem left is speed, and the prognosis for addressing that this year is excellent.