A summary of what has been written by others in various places. This is not intended to be a rant; just cold, logical observation.
It certainly seems as if the window either is closing, or it will be closing in the not-distant future.
Marvell is a company that makes profits from selling many chips. Any product needs a huge customer base, or it will not be worth the time to develop and product it. Neither Marvell, nor it's partner manufacturers are likely to keep producing Plugs for just a few hundred, or thousand hobbyists.
We might take a lesson by reviewing the product arc of the NSLU2. It was one of the somewhat earlier NAS devices, was sold in retail stores for a decent price. The fact that it was a retail product means it provided a revenue stream that would sustain it's availability for a while. Being a retail product also meant that the platform was relatively stable.
Both the availability and the stability gave hobbyists the chance to create software that would reliably install the Linux overlays.
Seems to me, some people at Marvell were hoping the same thing would happen with the Plug. Not so much because the company was thrilled to support this niche, but because they hoped that the hobbyists, and the hype, would lead to some new product or use which would sell a million units.
But, there were problems on the way to paradise.
We can put aside, the power supply issues.
The main issue is the new kernel installation and un-bricking. It is not so difficult, really. But there are two things that make it difficult for the newcomer. First, the differences in Plug configuration [is an old one, a new one, a new-old one?]. Second, the differences in the installing host (operating system, 32-bit vs 64-bit).
As a result of these two issues, there are many instructions and "helper" scripts about how to install or unbrick a Plug. . . But, it seems, most of them will only work for some persons, while others work for other people.
So, the bottom line is, the guy who may know some Linux, but doesn't know about bootloaders or kernel installation is facing a steep slope and no clear map. (The plug is for the "hard-core" hobbyist.)
Those challenges mean mean that the hobbyist community which Marvell, et.al., might have hoped for has not taken off with the speed and force similar to the Slug (NSLU2). (Not to slight those who have helped -- Thank you, cbxbikerr61, rooster, those who've contributed to the wiki, and all the others who have built and helped others.)
Furthermore, the evidence suggests that Marvell is already minimizing their involvement/investment. The official documentation set has errors that will cause a re-flash to fail; that has not been corrected. The wiki sees much more spam than actual content activity. In fact, it seems there's been no administration of the wiki since November. There is no reply to email requesting that the wiki be secured. It doesn't seem as if it would take much effort (investment) to fix some of these problems, so the inaction only contributes to the impression that the situation is being allowed to come to a conclusion without further corporate effort.
I started working on the wiki, and there's a lot more that might be done. But, then I saw the spam, and the user creation logs, and realized that hardly anyone is looking at it. Made me wonder if my efforts would be supporting a community, or just talking to myself. That was what led me to these observations and conclusions. I suspect others have arrived at the same conclusions.
Thus, we arrive at the question posed in this discussion -- just how long is this going to continue? Will the plugwiki and the plugforum simply disappear one day? (The domain is, after all, registered to Marvell.) Is there enough of a community that it would make sense to move the wiki and forum to a non-corporate domain?
Contrary to what it may seem, I'm pretty happy with my Sheeva; it will be a better Asterisk host than the Slug. I'd like to be able to buy another one in a few years if/when this one breaks.
But, I suspect that won't be possible. I expect that, say three years from now, the choice will be to work on whatever new little device has come along (hoping it has a serial/JTAG port), . . . or, buy a Plug replacement/spare now and pull it out of storage when the service unit bites the dust.
Hobbyists work on the fringes of the marketplace.