First let me say that we at Bug are big fans of OpenMoko. Not only have we benefited from the work that has gone into the product, they have also been a role model for us in terms of how an open consumer electronics company should behave, specifically to developers and the FOSS community as a whole.
The recent news that OM would be pausing development on their next generation phone, and the departure of several developers was unfortunate to hear. However it's not entirely unexpected, with the economy as it is.
What I found very illuminating was a discussion on an OpenMoko mailing list regarding the possibility for the community to resume work on the next generation phone without the help of OpenMoko (the hardware company). In this thread, after some initial "why can't we do it ourselves?" questions, Steve Mosher of OpenMoko.com very accurately and clearly states the complexities that face anyone (specifically in this case a FOSS community) when creating hardware products, and how fundamentally they differ from software. Admittedly, we at Bug have faced many of these same challenges. It's great to see this open and honest discussion about the problems and challenges that face OpenMoko and Open Hardware in general, and I highly recommend reading Steve's post.
I hope that OpenMoko's as yet undisclosed interim product is a success, and that success allows them to get back to building great open phones!