Drupal 7 has been a multi-year effort on behalf of over 1,000 contributors. Since February 2008, we’ve manged to make enormous improvements; it is a true metamorphosis for designers, developers, and administrators.
The last months we’ve seen Drupal 7 getting steadily closer to its release and critical issues dealt with one by one. Release management is not always easy, and I’ve always based my decisions part on data, and part on my “gut”. Both are indicating that it is time to release Drupal 7. It is important to all of us in the Drupal community.