Let me go deeper in the problem, and how the idea can help.
It can be different, not handling the payment, support, etc so you simply list the services to comparison. Listing won't hurt, as a backlink to the original site (current UI fails in easy of use, IMHO).
A UI like the App Store or Google Play Store is what I thought, the new 4.0 WP is better but I think needs some "app store-like" UI for plugins.
Just a good example is backup solution, I have 2 years using WordPress and among dozens of solutions only BackupBuddy and VaultPress worked with me, and I think how ease would be to search "backup" in plugins and have VaultPress there along others free plugins. It's handy for the user!
An AppStore-like plugins in WP will help:
- Saving user time by having a ONE WAY STOP to find for a real solution. Google is generalist, I want to trust in something inside WP.org or my WP dashboard.
-Users will compare free/free and free/paid services.
-User will choose easily the solution/service that fits its needs. It will not restrain but the opposite, it will give freedom to choose.
- An App Store-like UI will help new users manage WP, as it is a well accepted UI for users.
- A free/paid versions will help choose a service that will scalate as I grow. How Should I keep my blog/site years to come? Should I just exchange service/plugins every year for the same service, it looks unprofessional and messy.
When I say CURATED STORE is a little broad, but while I understand Automattic maybe don't want to implement a store right now, Apple didn't wanted it too in the iPhone initial release, and history shows that exact App Store revolutionize all others online stores - and it is very successful, profitable and a great experience to the user.
I also agree that a store in the Apple App Store similarity will need a LOT of employes, what could be not liked to the fit team of Automattic.
What you think?