Rails is a community which owes its existence to marketing more than any other open source community I am aware of. To some extent marketing even influenced its API design; many of the convenience methods are in there to make it easy for newbies to get started.
DHH is a great programmer but he's terrible at calming down panicked legions. Chad Fowler is not a great leader. Prag Dave is just silly. He blogged about speaking at RubyConf, where he said "maybe we should fork Ruby", and spoke about it as if it were an epic controversy - this after numerous people spent several years of work on several different versions of Ruby. These projects had already forked Ruby when Dave made his "controversial" suggestion. The Rails Activists are not exactly doing a great job of promoting Rails or improving its image. And Obie Fernandez is, like Matt Aimonetti, apparently happy to throw away all his credibility rather than consider the possibility that he might just have been wrong about something.
In short, we have great marketing but terrible leaders, leaders so bad they're becoming terrible marketing in their own right. Except here's the thing: I don't care. I think the marketing matters more than the leaders. In the age of git, anyone can fork anything - and the truth is that the real leaders are the people who got us on git, not the people who speak at conferences. I work with guys who contribute way more code than me, people like Rick Olson and Jeremy McAnally, and when they disagree with me, they win. Because they write more code.
Consider something else: regional conferences like RubyFringe, GoRuCo, and MountainWest RubyConf are much better experiences than RailsConf. That's a matter of opinion, but I think there are enough people who share this opinion (nearly everybody who's been to both names the regionals as better) that I can just consider it near-factual. What does that mean? We've got great marketing, terrible leadership figures, great regional conferences, and an awful national conference. That means the marketing works at bringing people into the community, but Rails conferences can't scale (heh heh) and we have a problem with egotistical people hogging the spotlight.
Consider something else: when it comes to technical leadership, our leaders kick ass. Chad Fowler, Prag Dave, and many others disappear from the picture, because nothing they do actually makes a difference in terms of code at all. DHH might piss people off left and right, but when it comes to writing code, he's a terrific leader. Consider how he incorporated elements of Merb while renaming them in ways which clarified their purpose.
Consider also: RailsConf has had Joel Spolsky, Paul Graham, and Ze Frank speak. None of these people know anything about Rails. All of them have provocative opinions that are related to what we do. That makes them great for a big conference because they can operate as conversation starters. Maybe that's all our community's "leadership figures" are.
Let's have a little less leadership and a little more marketing.