i would have to disagree with several of your points. first
First of all, if there is going to be an OpenSource Blender project, Ton should be the it’s leader. Ton is not, after all, dead.
ton is also not god (no offence to ton, of course). there are several reasons i do not think ton should be required to be project leader (of course, if he wants to, and has the time, thats fine). first, ton is busy at the moment trying to determine what will happen to blender, and this project will take a long time. personally, i would rather not have to wait two or three years for a working app. second, ton needs a job. It is looking more and more like this job will not involve blender, and so any work he does on this project would be in his spare time, just like anybody else (unless, of course, you want to pay him, which he probably wouldnt mind ). Of course, i do not speak for ton, so all of this may be wrong, i am just saying, do not assume ton will even be available to work on this project.
Oh, and one last thing: I think that we should wait to see what happens to the existing version of Blender before we start any “New Blender” projects.
no, i do not think we should. A project such as this, from the ground up, will take a long time to mature (think years), and it will probably be a long time before the fate of blender is decided (perhaps also measured in years, many months at the very least). When you add these times together, you are looking at probably two years or more before a reasonable replacement for blender is available (from this project anyway). also, (speaking from the outside, just like most of us are), i do not think the chances that blender will be opened up are very high (of course, it would be great if i am wrong), which means that you may be waiting a year or more without doing anything before you find out that no, you will not have a working base to start coding on. In that time, you could have gotten very far in creating something as powerful as blender, and probably with the potential to be more powerful than blender was.
You also have to take into account how long the community will last. without any new software, the community will probably dwindle, as people see no tangible solution on the horizon, and migrate back to those consumer level 3d packages (or give up on 3d). One of blender’s main strengths was its community, and that is something a new program can carry over from blender, regardless of what happens to it.
in short, it just does not make sense to have to wait 3 years for an alternative, when it could be done in 1.5
lastly, we have to take into account how usefull the blender source would actually be. lately, development had slowed down on the 3d still/animation features. some of this was because there was too much emphasis on game/realtime blender, but there were also rumors that NaN was planning on a major rewrite of a lot of code. rewrites are expensive, and not common, especially for a company that wasnt doing too well. This indicates (to me anyway, without being able to look at the code), that perhaps the blender code was at the end of what was capable with the current design, and need to be re-designed before it could be extended properly. If this is the case, then access to the blender source wouldnt do much good, cause it would need to be almost entirely rewritten from scratch anway, to extend it much further.
disclaimer: all my theories are just that, theories. i have no more information than anybody here, this is just what i believe to be true, given the information available. please do not take it as fact.
also, i hope this is not construed as blender bashing. i really like the program, and use it a lot. however, if we can create an even better alternative, then i think we should do it (learn from peoples mistakes, dont repeat them).