>political, I think the mainstream business
>community even more desperately needs to get
There's a nice commentary on how it is difficult to separate social from technical concerns. [link]. Perhaps that should be extended to the economic space as well.
What Verisign is trying to do is simple, enclose the entire DNS space. One solution in rejecting their governance is to support alternative domains ([AlterNIC]) but in some ways this is akin to a poison pill defense in that you're likely to get instability until an oliopoly forms.
Practically I doubt whether profit-oriented entity is willing to give up their fee from the assignment of names. I just hope an enlightened successor to Postel steps forward.