Computerworld have interviewed Anthony Towns about Dunc-Tank and the succes or failure as well as the consequences of it.
Read it here
Do you think Dunc-Tank has been successful as an experiment?
There was a definite effect [of funding] on it [etch], and there were some other indirect effects as well, such as the Dunc-Bank project, in which a group of people, mostly from France, didn't like the idea of paying people at all and set up a project that would work with Debian's guidelines and try and improve Debian, but in such a way that Dunc-Tank would fail and wouldn't release on time.
They decided to do some really thorough testing of the release and find more bugs that would then have to be fixed, because if you don't find bugs in advance you can't fix them, and so you might release on time, but with bugs.
So they found the bugs in advance, and said, 'oh, we know about these bugs, and etch can't be released till they're fixed'. This forces us to release a better product, but later, which is what the Debian community tends to focus on anyway.
So while we've had Steve fixing all these bugs, we've also had a lot more being filed, and so I think we've had a real improvement in the QA process and that's from people who specifically don't like the project so it's hard to say if that's a failing or a success, and whether it's possible to repeat that at all.