in reply to OT: A Volunteer's Lament
I confess. I didn't read this entire thing through top to bottom, but I've been where you are.
Open Source is about being Open Minded and an autonomous learner/doer. You contribute your piece, and if it's rejected, you move on to bigger and better things. If you're employed, obviously that comes first. But you can always round robin (like I often do) open source projects. Even better, you can make the things you write for work (given it doesn't violate any NDAs or contract obligations) open source.
Open source will always be there, and if the maintainers are smart, they'll always be happy for a few extra hands to help out.