I agree with some of your points however I don't want the few active developers this software has wasting their time in doing a nice website or cleaning the forum, yes is nasty but it works. That would make sense if this software was commercial.
It has poor UX/UI and lacks some extremely important features. And it won't get any of them because of VM politics. For instance, VM is never going to have a sensible checkout process because that would "hurt 3rd party extension developers". Nevermind that default checkout is a total conversion killer and 3rd party checkout extension are more like hacks than extensions. Maybe if it was on GitHub, things would be a bit better. Maybe more features would be accepted through PRs.
This is what many of us think here and have discussed in other posts which lead us nowhere.
The VM policy is the worst that VM has. If there is an extension that does something VM won't develope one or include it cause if not the 3rd party developer will loose money and will stop contributing to VM, that is the official answer.
I do consider VM a great software that has evolved and improved a lot in the past year specially but yes it lacks many features and can't be compared to other e-commerce systems.
From VM1 to VM3 I see no big difference in the checkout, I don't know of anyone using the core one, ain't that something to think about?
The 3rd party checkouts are a case worth of study, there are like 5 one page checkouts and even claesbas developed an additional one.
Meanwhile we have a rating sytem that will ashame users of Zencart.
Coupon system or reward system? Never, cause Seiyi has an extension for that so when are we gonna get a coupon or reward system? never.
And e-mails? Never cause we don't want Interamind to get upset. Then we have the shop of virtuemart extensions with more and more extensions that would have made the core better and Alatak has some very interesting extensions.
But Max now will tell you that he spend 100000000 billion dollars in developing multivariants so yes, additions come from time to time but the main policy will always throwback this software against its competitors.
And Github never. This is the private project of Milbers with its good and bad things.
We are happy with the core, but the policy will eventually kill the project, come on, not even a donation button in the forum, let people pay for features in the core.
Right now you say we can join the membership, we can pay 3rd party developers to add code but even paying them most codes get rejected and we users end up with 20 extensions, plugins and modules that cost us thousands of euros.
Maybe no one noticed that there is not even a "feature request" section in the forum, I can't even pay them to add or enhance things. I have to pay 3rd party developers to end up adding another plugin to solve my issues.
All this said, marketing doesn't seem a priority right now.