AMD really has to review its release process. Let's start with a fact: the main uses of the open source radeon driver are modesetting and 2D (and I mean display the desktop with better performance then a cirrus card). 3D is not really an option and you can also live without compositing. Gaming is not even allowed in dreams. This will not change anytime soon.
With this release process AMD is missing even those 2 basic use: they missed linux 3.8 and it is up to distribution now to backport the work. Ok it should not be a very hard process, but still I think it is silly. That's why I think it is fine to have the 3D driver missing (I said missing, not present but a mess for the user), but with KMS, at least, working. This way a user can install his/her distro of choice and, if needed, migrate to fglrx. If basic KMS is not working the user is left more or less in the dark and the installation can be a russian roulette. And don't say you can use the alternate installation method, Joe User doesn't really know about it and I don't think he should use it anyway.
Also let's not talk about the fact you need a nuclear plant to run your AMD card if you run the radeon driver, cause powersave is a mess... and not even automatic! Joe User doesn't know about /sys fs.
And be sure to understand: the problem is the open source radeon team is only 5 full time developers. If AMD is not going to change this, AMD hardware will keep being a mess. And the legal team is not really helping either.