I've just been catching up with this story. When I saw the names attached to the fork, it seemed obvious to me that LEDE is where the future is. It's basically all the most active developers.
Reading back through the meeting logs and mailing lists, it seems apparent that they felt that the current management model of the OpenWRT project was just too cumbersome and was holding them back from what they wanted to spend their time on - developing. The worry with a fork is that it spits resources and duplicates effort, but the way this one is going it looks more like a leadership coup. So maybe this could be a good thing that breathes new life into the project.
I don't care what it's called (and the OpenWRT name is rather out of date - this is much more than a custom firmware for linksys routers, after all), I just want this project to continue in whatever form to produce by far the most flexible embedded linux distribution in existence.