The dunc-tank project was established to raise money to compensate some Debian developers who are essential to producing a timely release of Debian. There has been a lot of acrimoneous debate about whether this is a good or bad thing. The positive side of it is that the release managers will get to spend more time working on Debian, the negative side is that some volunteers will lose motivation.
However I have felt more motivated to do my unpaid Debian work. During the time that I was employed by Red Hat I was fairly slack about my Debian development work (incidentally Red Hat management were happy for me to continue Debian work so there was no pressure from Red Hat in this regard). Since leaving Red Hat I have been busy doing paid work.
Recently I have started getting involved in Debian work again. I am about to upload a new version of Postal for the first time in three years, I have set up a Xen server for Debian SE Linux development, and I am about to start serious Debian SE Linux development work again.
One factor in this has been my impression that other DDs are taking the release seriously. In the past schedules for release have slipped repeatedly without end. Now there is a schedule and this gives me more motivation to get bugs fixed!