Well, since I missed the post about the Lone Coder, it'll be more or less worthless (just as writing here is more or less worthless, except I can find it easily here) to post a comment.
So here are my $0.02:
The "Lone Coder" never truly existed, or if he/she did, they quickly adopted the practice of working with other "Lone Coders: after a short period of time.
For a long while (read: the Gulag institution known as
... well, I'll not utter it here as it is an evil name), I was a "Lone Coder". I wrote lots of stuff, some which was nifty, some which was only for my own enjoyment. Hey, who knew it would take that long to write a Pong(TM) clone in TI-83 BASIC (I hadn't yet learned of TI-Calc.org
Then I began to work with folks who were better with numbers an procedures than I were, so they fed me scientific algorithms and I produced the C code for the TI-89 and the BASIC code for the TI-83. And then, for them to really do spiffy homeworks (if we had only known how to muck about in either M$ Office or OO.org or TeX), I began crafting programs for the PC.
count)), was to get us to work together. It was here I hooked up with a lab partner that complemented my skills. There were areas he was great at and I was poor at, areas I was great at and he was poor in, and many many areas where we were both great. He's been my lab partner for 4.5 semesters now, and between us, there are few problems we can solve.
I also got a job in a research lab. In the lab, I am somewhat a "Lone Coder", although I do occassionaly talk with the fluid-physicists (the director and the chief scientist) to hash out ideas, or I talk to the other good coder who has been working on some high performance I/O stuff (I muck about with meta-data/data management).
I do still program on my own free time, but I have less and less time to do this (what can I say, I chase tail in my free time after homework). But my programs are mostly for my own self and not a commercial nature. The last thing I tried to develop with comercial intent was a kind of Physics framework and application built on that framework that would in effect allow people to have the computer do thier homework. I figured I could cop at most $5 from students for it (I did have a pretty nifty anti-pirating scheme, although some would consider it slightly extreme: if you were using a bootleg copy, it would systematically destroy its support binaries, no matter how often you reloaded), which would make me a very rich student, very quickly ($5 bucks a copy, need for approximately a thousand copies per year guaranteed, less expenses (initially on CD's then on a website), you can see how quickly this can also bloom when being sold at other schools). But I got bogged down and fucked around by a few girls, and I lost the urge to keep working on it. It's about halfway done, so I may just GPL the code and GDL the documentation and let it go.
Now my code from my "Lone Coder" efforts is for the good of all, or at least immediate good use by me. So as far as the world of commercial software is concerned, any "Lone Coder" is going to be very alone and left quickly behind by those working in large open-source groups or those working in corporations. Not just with patent issues, but just with the fact that, up to a certain point, more coders equals better code and faster rollout of working code.
But best of luck to you loners looking for commercial success. I would recommend you ask for help, and I offer my services if you want them (provided the task is interesting, so if you're looking for someone to help you make a GNU/Linux distro or GNU/Hurd distro or any OS, forget it, there are plently enough eyes on that problem), and I'm sure others would if you ask. If you pull it off, look me up if you need a coder/architect/etc.
Besides, its always fun to root for the underdog.