Yes, surely (and I don't think I'm being naive here) we're back in a position similar to that before Acorn went belly-up. imj's problem with the OS and the hardware being owned and made by the same company isn't really valid. The only time it's a problem is if the company is incompetent.
Technological or financial incompetence would be disastrous. However, Castle have proved that financially they're sound. They've managed to keep producing hardware and through licencing agreements brought us a new browser. Technologically they're also sound, despite the embarrasing near infringement of the open source licence.
Actually, I thought they handled that very well. There was a genuine accusation, they took it seriously, resolved the issue, made some concessions and came out of it in good shape.
As long as the relevant companies can work together for mutual benefit we all stand to see improvements. There have been a lot of positive developments recently, both commercial and open source. I think the freedom for the OS to be developed in tandem with the latest hardware without expensive and time-consuming licencing deals getting in the way will ensure that this pace (no pun intended) picks up.
I'm hopeful. I just hope I'll have the cash to invest in a brand new RISC OS (Acorn?) system sometime soon!