While I don't very much like the *code* that Poettering contributes (pulseAudio took a LONG while to become stable), I see sense in a lot of his arguments:
1) SystemV initscripts are fine for systems that were designed 20 years ago. Things have changed quite a bit now.
2) After seeing some of the Apple launchctl things in action, I want some on Linux!
3) If we stick to POSIX, we might as well decide to throw in the towel, break out the old Slackware 1.0 distros and grow beards. If we can design a better interface/system that's more future proof, then DO IT.
4) Letting Upstart/SysV/OpenRC and whatever compete is *not* a good thing. It's the equivalent of having 3 incomplete kernels that allow you to run your audio, graphics or disk, one at a time.
5) Turns out pulseAudio got better AFTER PEOPLE FIXED IT UP. The architecture and the idea wasn't busted, but the execution was, for a long time.
The only reason Red Hat is upstream is because they contribute so damn much to the code. But, as Mark Shuttleworth said, Canonical contributes users and bugreports (sometimes directly to Red Hat, hilariously). Turns out, you have less control over code than the authors, go figure.
Finally, from my point of view, Unity and GNOME 3 are both abominations that should be killed with fire. I stand 100% behind Linus's statements about compatibility and ABI breakage. The fact that your app can only run on a specific distribution with a specific set of libraries is very rarely a good way to keep guys interested in developing for your desktop.