. As the OP points out themselves, there was Monorail before ASP.NET MVC, so clearly Microsoft no focusing on whatever the latest hotness is doesn't hold people back.
Then what is the point of ASP.NET MVC? There is no .NET community because Microsoft takes every effort to kill it. Someone makes some interesting technology ontop of .NET, and Microsoft has to come with their "me too" technology which will in almost all circumstances kill the original technology because "it's from Microsoft" with their salespeople and Channel 9 videos promoting it and what not.
I'm seeing this happen with ORMs (eg: NHibernate and Subsonic) now. Microsoft wants to replace these mature, well designed community ORMs with a garbage salad (Entity Framework). And it will replace them, because "it's from Microsoft".
Maybe Microsoft really hates Ayende or something. But seriously, Microsoft needs to learn to stop competing with their own fucking fanbase sometimes.