Perhaps I should add my two cents to the discussion since the original poster used TBP as an example.
Now, what's different in TBP compared to most of the other projects hosted here? It's the fact that most projects are set in the freespace universe and are not total conversions. Of those hosted projects that are total conversions, their history does not predate as far as to year 1999 and are younger than TBP. Now that you are comparing TBP to the majority of hosted projects, which are campaign projects; has TBP really released that many missions and campaigns after all? There's old Earth-Minbari War, a whopping 5 missions long campaign. Not really comparable to most of the hosted projects. Then there is the new Raider Wars campaign, even with 16 missions it's still on the shorter end of the campaigns that the hosted projects are developing.
During TBP development, the hardest part has always been missions, especially full campaigns. Campaigns just take immeasurable time, patience and resources to be completed, especially if you add cb animations, voice acting and maybe even cutscenes since that's possible these days. Yes, TBP has done quite a lot of content, but not so much missions as it might first look like. Few of you actually know that there was a time after release of R2, when TBP was quite a dead project. One thread less in the old TBP VWBB internal and there might never have been R3 or Raider Wars. We have lost so many of our staff along the years, that it is very much a miracle that TBP managed to survive through the hard time between R2 and R3.
But in any case, the point in my post is the fact that there is not as much official missions to play as it has been made to sound. As far as I am concerned, Raider Wars is the first real TBP campaign, rest are just stand-alone missions. And for making Raider Wars true, you all should thank IPAndrews as the amount of work he did on the project is astounding.
Now TBP is also on the very same line as all other campaign projects; we need to get Earth Alliance Civil War completed. The amount of work is nowhere small and there is always the fear of the campaign being never completed in the air. It is troubful that the talented resources of the community is already reserved so we are as hard pressed to achieve any concrete results as any other project. Luckily there is the FRED Academy training up potential fredders, for which there will be need. However, having too big of a development team is not very wise either, a small and solid active team can accomplish things better than a bigger loose bunch.
Anyways, I don't see what the ruckus is really about. Everyone here have their own visions, some people have made those visions into real projects. If those people actually manage to get their project into good start, its up to them how to organize their own show. If you want to make a positive impact on development speed and efficiency, learn the skills a project needs and join up. Talking and acting are two completely different things.
Learn, act and help your favorite project. Don't get involved with more than one project (unless the job is relatively small) as you need to share your little time with all projects, effectively making you less useful. Get your job done in one project and then move on to another, of course there's no point joining up to projects you are not interested in. But some of you have mentioned certain projects by name, you know what to do other than just keep talking.
As for taking projects up to their own "professional quality" promises, even you yourself know that it is nearly impossible for us to reach the truly professional quality. Now, there are different kinds of quality, not all professional gaming companies can hold up to the industry's principles and actually develop a quality game. But it's the same for us, while it is extremely hard for any modding project to reach that quality, they can still reach very high unprofessional quality. Sometimes high unprofessional quality can surpass low professional quality, but very rarely it can surpass high professional quality. Projects should get their act together and not make promises they cannot fulfill, they don't need to market their "game" after all. The community will learn of the project's accomplishments even without any marketing ploys. But the fans following those projects should also use their own common sense and acknowledge the fact that the guys developing these projects are the same as you, just fans themselves.