Probably going to get downvoted, but here goes..
1) I like Linux, I use Linux every day (along side Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10)
Unfortunately it's Linus' behavior such as this controversy over versioning and, what should be, a relatively straight forward approach. Unfortunately Linus, while brilliant, shows a somewhat lack of maturity in certain aspects of software development. What it comes down to is that he has demonstrated frequently that the Linux kernel is "his ball" and he will "take it home" if we don't play the game the way he likes. Fine, it's his ball.
But, if he really wants to see Linux on the Desktop in his lifetime, his behavior would have to change. My impression is that to Linus, Linux is a software project that he enjoys working on. The fact that the rest of the world may use it, isn't really of any importance to him. The fact that he's never really had a job where he wasn't in complete control of a project's decisions just shows.
Linus as a developer = GREAT, Linus as a product manager = not so great. I don't like making this a personal matter, but he chooses to imprint his personality on the Linux kernel in the most visible ways possible. That's just not a good approach for the long term.
Maybe it's time for an alternative (non-linux) kernel to go along with alternative distros? I actually shudder to think what is going to happen to kernel dev once he is no longer working on it (for whatever reason).
As far as versioning goes, any approach is good, as long as one defines it and sticks to it. But he is not even willing to do that. Personally I've always used: Major = not guaranteed to be backwards compatible + new features, Minor = guaranteed to be compatible within same major + minor enhancements, Build = bug fixes. This seems to work pretty well for me.
Congrats, if you got this far.. (TL;DR)