Some days ago I stumbled Why Free Software has poor usability. Disagreeing on about everything written in there, I decided to pull out a long reply to each one of the points made.
Typically hard core programmers don’t pay much attention to design, they either expect people to kick in when the moment comes or simply are not interested. Bounties would solve nothing (there are already websites for bounties and they are so cheap to mean almost nothing, community rewards are not going to make it any better.
Google Summer of Code are a good implementation of the bounty idea. Guess what ? The initiative costs millions of dollars.
One thing is right: there’s not much money in the majority free software projects. You want a good incentive ? When someone does a usable software hire him (google cache). That will set an example and well help raising the standards.