"And don't forget, you're being asked to pay for beta quality software at this point."
Reminds me of Steam Early Access... Good for the makers to work out if it's worth continuing, or if they should just scrap it due to underwhelming demand. (with no refunds whatsoever, of course)
Personally, I really don't see why we need yet another bolt-on for Debian/Ubuntu, much less why we should pay for it. Also, Ubuntu is relatively fast-paced, and many users use it for that reason (more current features, drivers etc). Why anybody would choose an Ubuntu fork with a slower release cycle is beyond me. There are plenty other distros out there already, which focus more on robustness/business rather than staying on top of the very latest stuff.
I'm all for variety, but only up to a certain point. There's a number of distros out there, which make sense for different purposes:
RHEL/Centos - robustness, slower-moving, enterprise-focus, mostly on servers
Fedora - RHEL's testbed for more current stuff
Slackware - for more geeky people who like robust stuff
Gentoo - with a BSD "we'll compile on our own, thank you" approach
Debian - traditionally in the server space
Ubuntu - major contributor in making Linux desktops usable and current
Mint - Ubuntu + what Gnome should have become (Cinnamon is better than Gnome ever was, yet somewhat compatible)
This list isn't complete, of course. I'd consider these the main distros (with exception of Mint, which is newish and essentially only changes Ubuntu's UI).
So why would anybody pay for an unfinished product, which mimics Mint, but slows down the release cycle and will as a result make itself less compatible with recent Ubuntu releases? Variety is great, clutter isn't. Asking others to pay for unfinished clutter with no obvious advantage over existing distros is asking for trouble. I doubt we'll see the 18-months-from-now release happening.