Lets look at the clues: - The frequency of new builds has slowed recently. - Progress has been at 88% for a while now, with only a few major features yet to be released. Such as user/group permissions management, plugin management, and a help system. - Recent releases have been security and major bug fixes and code cleanups. - The time to fix after a new MC version is down to a couple hours. - plugins have matured greatly both in feature set and stability The time for a public release is nearly at hand if you ask me. I wouldn't be surprised that once MC 1.5 is under control, the next update we will see is a full on major bukkit release. Just my 2 cents though.