Yes, I figured that was the case, and it's totally reasonable but there are also people using 3.0.0-SNAPSHOT for development. The problem isn't that developers can't stay with an older version, but when the dependency soup changes enough that there's a required move to the latest version (like what happened recently with the update to features schema 1.2.0), changes like this update to pax-web can cause the whole system to be completely unusable.
It's a balance, you know? For a while there, the release of 3.0.0 was imminent, now it seems a ways out. Nobody would go into production with it for reasons like this, when the expectations of a release cycle change and they aren't fully communicated, others can get pulled back.
In my opinion, this is the kind of change that should go into a later release, that is all.
I didn't file on this because I prefer to fix it myself, but I have some stuff to do this weekend already.
Thanks for the input!