As a wilderness photographer and backpacker, I was stoked when EARL was first announced. Having suffered through the atrocity of backwards development that is Garmin for years (lack of other options), while the rest of the industry surged past, I was excited for the prospect of someone shaking up the GPS market and giving us a device that could actually meet so much more of our needs, in such a better and more usable way.
That said, despite the optimistic claims of an expected launch only months away (August was it?), I knew product development takes time, and the EARL team had certainly bitten off more than they could chew. A product of this complexity, with little more than a design mock and wishlist specs on paper, with the extremely low funding (if anyone thinks a quarter mil will get you far in product design/manufacture, think how many individuals you can hire for a single year on that budget, much less actually produce anything) - I knew it would take some real time.
I threw in my money as an advance, with the hopes of getting a great industry-changing product, and if not at least shaking the sleeping giants (e.g. Garmin) into getting with the times. We vote with our backing. We've told the world that there IS interest...
So keep it up Jon - I agree with others that communication is needed, but then again I've promised the same on my own blog to my fans, and likewise failed to deliver time and again - so I can't point fingers. Life gets in the way, and for someone that doesn't like to talk just for the sake of talking, posting constantly (especially fluff posts when faced with a lack of progress) is like pulling out your own teeth.
Best of luck man, and I hope you make it to market!