On the Weblogtoolscollection.com site there's an interesting post talking about something that should concern members of (or those considering becoming members of) the WordPress community - it seems that there's not a lot of love to go around.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Many of the plugin authors I have spoken with throughout the community tell me that very rarely do they ever get a donation let alone a Thank You for releasing their work to the public. Based on the plugin authors feedback, end users demand more features, demand better support, and in the end, have this feeling of entitlement even if the plugin is available without a price tag.
Thankfully, not everyone in the community is this way, but there's apparently enough of it to cause a problem. They suggest just a few simple ways you can do your part and let the author of your favorite plugin know you appreciate them and the hard work they've put in. It doesn't even have to be donation, just a nice "thank you" is sometimes enough.
Be sure to read the comments for some great discussion on the matter.