There was a time when the Debian team was just a bunch of packet maintainers, sharing little outside a set of general principles, and the desire to build a distro together. This time is over.
Read the blog entry here
Some of the best organized free software projects already have, or aim for a periodic release shedule. This is very good for the project users, but not so easy to keep (especially where high stability is expected). Democratic projects typically achieve this less easily than the benevolent dictatures.