>> What's exactly the point of that reply? Is its purpose maybe to
>> "win" the argument?
> No, I'm sorry that the project isn't going the direction you would have
> liked. It's disappointing and frustrating when you follow a project for a
> while and then it veers away from what you liked about it. That doesn't
> mean the project is doing anything wrong, just that for you personally
> it's not working out anymore. I'm sorry.
Your reply answers the second question ("Is its purpose maybe to 'win' the argument?"), not however as far as I understand the first one.
I am assuming that designing an OS is foremost /not/ a question of personal likes or playing the psychosocial instruments of the community to advance one's agenda, ego or ideas.
Certainly, us all being human (apart from the dogs collaborating incognito on various projects), tastes and social mechanisms also need to be considered ("I'm sorry"), but they should be secondary and only means to the end of creating a system that is technically and objectively as good as possible .
That's my assumption of what Gnome and most fundamental and large open source projects are about.
So under the stated assumption, answering "No, I'm sorry that the project isn't going the direction you would have liked" to a person that is trying to point out in detail what's wrong from a technical and usecase standpoint about the direction that some software solution is taking does not make any sense to me.
It's like saying "No, I'm sorry that the project isn't going the direction you would have liked" to a colorblind person that is trying to explain, why choosing a red on green font is not a good choice for his use case.
Is my limited understanding preventing me to comprehend it all?
 Also, as shown by many benevolent dictators "taste" can be an effective mechanism of choice in the face of "unresolvable complexity".
 That doesn't imply that the primarily goals would unconditionally justify all means or universally trump the secondary goals.