I've gotten the chance to talk to a lot of people about these issues, and with the exception of those who are very close to the current software, opinion is almost unanimous: the Wikipedia software needs to be rewritten from scratch in Python. (Yes, everyone really did say Python.) Rewrites of large software projects aren't taken lightly, but from everything I've seen this is one of the rare cases that it's actually necessary.
This made me laugh. It makes me wonder how this will play in non-Python communities. Somehow, I doubt this will happen. I took a quick look at the SVN repository, and it all looks very muddled to me. I had to guess as to where the main source code was, based on the version timestamps.
With regards to the series from which this article comes, I find them very thought-provoking, It will be interesting to see if Mr. Swartz ends up on the board. I'd vote, but I'm just a typo finder (i.e., I don't have 400 edits).