I've made these comments before in other discussions, but what this amounts to is that some of the kernel developers seem unwilling to develop the kernel the way most people develop software: work on something until it's "finished", then fix it up until it's "stable". With the 2.6 kernel nothing is ever finished and lots of things are never stable. Maybe the 2.6 kernels are more stable than any 2.5 or 2.3 kernels ever were, but even the early days of 2.4 seem better than this.
Which 2.4 series were you using? :-) I found the 2.6.0-test series to be far better than the early 2.4 series. The latest kernels are even better. The last two I used were 2.6.10-rc1 and 2.6.11.
As for "finished": I seriously doubt that any acceptable definition of finished would be fair to most kernel developers. Because of the sheer number of contributors, some project/feature will always be just ready to add their code to the kernel. Only small groups or funded developers can halt development and switch to bug fixing. With a bunch of volunteers, you either allow then to contribute or you lock them out.
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