We have had numerous people email us over the last few months to thank us for the hard work and suggest that we should do the events plugin as a premium plugin. They would gladly pay (and they did through donations). Their main point was that if this isn't an after hours effort, we can put more energy into moving it forward and keeping it stable.
Both Scott Berkun's and Matt Mullenweg's presentation at wordcamp Sf cemented my perspective that the future of wordpress plugins will lie in well build and well supported plugins. User need to have confidence and our accidental 1.6 release really underlined that fact. I am convinced that financial viability will be what allows the supported part to succeed.
On the other hand, I like the free, volunteer, help your brother wo/man part of this project. Its nice having a project that is not an obligation. I like being able to ignore support requests that don't inspire me or that are really problems caused by lack of theme knowledge or poor plugin architecture from other free plugins =). Life has enough responsibilities.
Ultimately though, if this sucker doesn't pull its weight financially, we may maintain and work on it arbitrarily, but we will never be able to give it serious focus and make it a priority.
THE QUESTION: what do you all think we should do? Whats more important to you as a user? The free part of the plugin, or the stability and new features (in exchange for $)?
I'm sitting here, late at night chewing my cudd, trying to decide if I really want to start a third company (service company, realestate company) doing a wordpress plugin product.