User appreciation doesn’t directly effect or inform the hackers who may not value those functions as directly, though. My point wasn’t about overall appreciation, but specifically the views that touch on the hacker work ethic.
I do wonder how projects of scale address the necessary evils of project management. Mozilla has been in the press for their bug triage and is clearly able to speak as an organization to what will and will not make it into a release. For that project, at least, that implies there is someone, somewhere saying exactly, “You will work on x instead of y.” Given Mozilla’s origins and operations, they may be more exceptional, but I doubt they are entirely unique.
I will grant the blending of roles that more often works. And I think having a project manager also be of strong repute as a developer resonates well with the core hacker ethic itself. Sadly, not all lead developers are equally well equipped to make a respected code contribution and make good decisions on the non-coding priorities.