Update 12 hours laterI received a massive amount of feedback: here, on the mailing list and in private email. I humbly thank all of you for the many words of encouragement. I am planning to summarize in more detail what I took away from this in a separate post soon (once I am back from an internetless trip this weekend).
Original TextTL;DR - There is this thing called DBIx::Class. It has a number of users, and a number of staunch non-users, which is all fine. Bottom line - it seems to be relatively important. For good AND for bad, I happen to be an integral part of this project for nearly 5 years. A number of my friends (who badgered me into writing this) believe that I am in a relatively unique position to "to boldly take this project where no ORM has gone before". Furthermore I am at a life-junction where I indeed can consider dedicating more time to such a goal (which includes formalizing proposals, seeking funding etc - this however is all step #2).
The reason for this post is to resolve the #1 problem holding me back from pursuing any of the above - I have conflicting indicators whether my continuous involvement with DBIx::Class does actually deliver a net benefit to its current and potential future users. After several months trying to reconcile facts (detailed further down) surrounding this project, I came to the conclusion that I can not figure this out by myself. And I will remain stuck until I do figure it out. Therefore I am reaching out to the community with what amounts to a blatant "vote of confidence" request (although, as everything in life, it's actually not that simple).
This will be a rather frank and unusually weird post - you have been warned.