But multiple people are less likely to make rash mistakes. You get more information and experience informing the decision. A stalement about a design decision wouldn't be the end of the world, if someone needed a feature right now, they could fork the kernel.
In this case I think it's just a historical accident that you have one guy making the final cut because that's what he's done before, and he's done a decent job at it.
Everyone is free to make their own decisions. It's an infinitely large pool of people making decisions. If anyone disagrees with what Linus includes in his "official" kernel, they just make their own.
In fact, the vast majority of kernels that people use don't come from Linus at all. They come from Red Hat, Ubuntu, etc., and they all maintain their own custom patchsets that they've built on top of the one Linus ships.
Burdening Linus with more bureaucratic work seems like a mistake to me.
I ordered an Intel NUC which is like an Ivy Bridge Ultra Book without the monitor, keyboard, battery, most of the plastic that goes into the case, and a big chunk of the cost. I intend to set it up as a home, disk-less media consumption station using pxe boot. I have no idea what "initial Ivy Bridge support for the intel_idle driver" means. Might this be reasonably interpreted that starting with the 3.5 kernel, sleep to ACPI state G1/S4 and resume work even in a diskless computer?