I hadn't assumed a thing. I was pointed to those three repositories. A little earlier I was pointed to the repositories linked from the Perl6 module list. Both were supposed to prove that Perl6 is being actively developed (I never doubted that) and that there is a sizable community around it (which they did not). In summary, as you write, there had been 20-30 regulars, 50-70 occasionally returning irregulars (here I think you are exaggerating a little, yes occasionally they return) and (and here's the main disconnect) "a trickle of new folk". No. There's a trickle of people that come, stay for a week and go.
I don't doubt there are a few people that work their asses off. I just don't see people flocking to tear the results out of their busy hands. I don't see people waiting eagerly for Perl6 to get into a (for them) useful state.
Within the echo chamber of #perl6 it certainly looks like there's a lot going on, like there's a lot of life in the project. Outside, strange noises are heard from time to time. Perl Incorporated built a shiny new hall, right next to the main gate, built a highway to ship the planned project, made press releases and superbowl ads ... and failed to deliver anything. The hall is no longer shiny, the highway was partly reused and partly fell into pieces, but in the furthest corner of the huge building, there are three offices and a kitchen still inhabited and from time to time a bunch of school kids comes for an excursion.
Yep, the groundwork may end up being useful (though the choice of JVM will probably never cease to surprise me). Hopefully.
Enoch was right!
Enjoy the last years of Rome.