Interesting, but useless...
The problem with MIPS is that is is very hard to find a good, modern evaluation board. I see stuff on the roadmap that includes PCI-Express, but I cannot find a single ATX board that has I/O that looks better than a 440BX chipset. I have been quite saddened by this, as I really, really like the MIPS architecture - it is a lot cleaner than x86 or even the 680x0 that I have known and loved for over a decade. But MIPS need to get off their laurels, because their Malta is simply missing too much.
MIPS needs to think about updating its boards and putting Malta out to pasture. Then, I suspect, it will see more interest. People do not program for something unless it is available - and most of us do not work for a commercial interest that is capable of designing and manufacturing its own kit.
I would like to see something like an updated MIPS board with DDR-3 memory, PCI Express and a few contemporary interfaces, like SATA-II, Firewire 800, USB 2 - and maybe one legacy PCI slot, for things that haven't made it to PCI-Express yet (like the Catweasel Mk4+, one of my favourites!) Maybe with embedded ATi or NVidia graphics (but with dedicated memory, please), a SoundBlaster (Audigy 2 ZS chipset, or similar) audio functionality - and full driver support for all devices.