Thanks for writing this post. I think you're right on. I myself am, I suppose, an intermediate programmer -- I had only programmed in Perl and a bit of C++ before finding Python -- but I rapidly became enamored of Python's usability and "discoverability." Even after a year or so of programming Python, I still get the feeling that by just poking around in the command line, I can figure out what I need to know to get a job done without reading reams of documentation. And in fact I have managed to get things done that way -- my productivity in Python compared to Perl is an order of magnitude of difference.
Except when it comes to the web. I'm currently trying to build my first substantial web application, and I would love to write it in Python. But watching the recent progress in the Rails world has made me wonder if learning Ruby wouldn't actually be faster than building and/or learning the Python frameworks necessary to get my project off the ground. Or even figuring out which frameworks are appropriate! "There's one obvious way to do it" most definitely does not apply in the Python web programming world, and it's too bad.
Even so, I think the Subway project looks promising, and I think that Python has several features that make it better than Ruby for web programming, most important of all, I think, being that Python has the best Unicode support of any of the "P" languages. (A fact which shouldn't be underestimated.)
It seems to me that a concerted effort could be made to unify various existing components into a useable and easily installed MVC package.
The competition with Rails may turn out to be the best thing to have happened for Python web programming... I hope so. Maybe a little "marketing" for such an effort wouldn't be such a bad thing? How do we build momentum?