Everything I know about software development could be written on the back of a postage stamp, so this question (and comments) may seem foolish to those among you who are more knowledgeable.
Would it be possible for Thomas (or somebody) to relatively quickly write a piece of "architecture" without much content, but that would integrate seamlessly with LR, with Adobe providing a developer package that would guide independent plug-in developers? What I'm thinking is that if Adobe were actually concerned about those customers it seems prepared to drop (i.e. hobbyists, artists and semi-pros) perhaps they would be willing to write and sell a basic program that would set up a standard for outsiders to provide the plugins for whatever additional capability that LR would need. So you could plug in any additional tools that you need (like layers, or soft-proofing, or a simple compositing program) and perhaps camera companies could plug in translators for their cameras as new cameras arrive, and so on. Adobe could even sell the tools in an iTunes-type facility. I don't think this would hurt Adobe much, as a full set of tools (if they should ever become available) would probably cost more than a Photoshop subscription, and it would allow Adobe to service, sell-to and keep in touch with people who are moving from being small users to becoming power users who'd buy into the full Creative Suite.
Or is that simply impractical or impossible?