Etch released yesterday. Awesome news. Now I rant.
There is no one-size-fits-all release cycle. Some people wait on pins and needles for the next release of their favorite distro, and six months is almost more than they can bear. Others milk their vendor's support for a full six years and are upset when it is EOL'd and they are forced to upgrade. Releasing every six months and supporting each release for six years is a costly endeavor because it means floating up to twelve releases at once. Someone once said that you can make some of the people happy some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. They must have been talking about distribution release cycles.
It's very difficult (some would say impossible) to obtain consensus among volunteers in a project the size of Debian. I don't speak for the Debian Project as a whole, but I do however perceive this as an area where consensus has been reached, and the time-line is: When It Is Ready. "Ready" as it is used here relates to the completion of certain goals outlined at the beginning of the cycle combined with the absence of release critical bugs. "When" is targeted at 18 to 24 months after the previous release, but only if it is "Ready".
Debian does not have a fixed release schedule. If that bothers you then you are free to jump in and try to change things (it is a community-based project). If it bothers you than perhaps you should consider a distribution that does have a fixed release cycle. You could also just try getting over it.
Etch released when it was Ready (22 months and 2 days after Sarge). Etch released on time.