You have written that Drupal is developed by people in their free time. Now why would most of these people care about world domination? They care about how their work can be best done with quick, clean and clear code, which is easy to develop with. Most of the Drupal developers are not interested in world domination as I have seen. drupal-devel mailing list: Gabor Hojtsy
Secretly, world domination has always been my goal :p
Working with an open source project can sometimes be frustrating, but it can also be glorious. For the most part, my experiences with Drupal have fallen in the second category. More than anything else, it is a fantastic platform.
I think some people get frustrated because they pick a particular version, develop some stuff on it, then see all the cool new stuff in the next version, but are mad that they have to change their code in order to fit with the cool new stuff. Of course, without API changes, that "cool new stuff" wouldn't be possible to implement at all.
The best advice I can give is to pick a particular version for deployment, then go with that. If it's a web site of any size, you won't constantly be updating the code in any case, so plan to revisit your code with a test site to prepare it for the next version. Of course, if you're happy with the current functionality, there is no reason to move to the next version at all.