Dave, I don't think the number of users is even relevant. What is relevant is the experience of those customer organizations and how they can meet their requirements. The number of infrastructures is more relevant than the number of end users in this discussion. I don't think a huge amount of them have a need or desire for multiple user directories. They seem to run off of AD and seem to prefer to have apps leverage AD instead of figuring out how to use a virtual directory (or metadirectory for that matter). Where is the FUD in that? Where is the smoke? What would be my motive to raise smoke and mirrors?
The discussion of how should Oracle build a product is very different than whether customers should consider metadirectory as an alternative. I think they should. I think there are still plenty of environments that could benefit from that approach. But I conceded Clayton's point -- if Oracle wants to build a virtual directory into it's suite to enable flexibility for customers, that's great. I just don't think a virtual directory is the answer to everything (and I spent a lot of time discussing the various use-cases that cry for one).
I would just hate to have people shy away from a good technology because some people say it's no good anymore. That doesn't make sense.
Ultimately, we might agree. Dave's conclusion is one that I've echoed over and over:
The need for, and uses of, virtual directories is growing and is still a few years away from peaking.
Let's just not declare something dead because it no longer seems cool to the in-crowd. It's OK to take a pragmatic approach to whatever challenge your organization is facing. That's my point.