(This message may be seen as inflammatory, but I assure you that it is just my opinion and not particularly anybody else---I don't speak for the projects on which I participate).
I am not a developer of VLC, but I am part of the LAME team (that MP3 encoder that a good amount of people use). I see similar problems regarding LAME as those described by the VLC team: lack of continuous power and resources.
Some users just magically think that "oh, this program won't exist anymore, so let's use this other one". The sad thing here is that they are shortsighted in the fact that they, by doing nothing (just receiving the programs), are not giving the incentive for the projects.
What about if the proposed alternative dies a few days from now? The amount of alternatives is finite.
Not only that, but the major players out there all share the same codebase: there are "incestuous" (in a good sene of the word) relations with VLC, xine, and mplayer: the all use, to some extent or another (well, in some cases, to the full extent) some common libraries: ffmpeg, libmp3lame, theora, vorbis, dirac, x264 and so on.
Usually, also, the players also send some feedback to the people writing the libraries and, without them, the libraries would not be as good as they are. And the feedback that developers provide is, not infrequently, in form of patches, or constructive suggestions. Some users, like the one above, just cares less and, honestly, where would you just "grab the extra codec" if they all, come, essentially, from the first place?
If you didn't know, perhaps it is a good reminder to put here that people from the VLC project developed the nice libdvdcss library, which benefited xine and mplayer, while people in the other projects have directly or indirectly benefited the others.
I would not like to have the "Linux desktop" mainstream with a "community" with a person that doesn't want a community. For people that are more altruistic (and that show it, instead of just playing in slashdot all day), I am open to a more open talk.
[Gee, from what I wrote the above, it seems like if I only saw Linux---I actually value the other Unix-like operating systems as much].
I guess that what I meant to say here is: "Talk is cheap. Show me the code. Don't wish the death of what you may proudly use and not even know".
Regards, Rogério Brito.