The problem with the dns is not the technology, it's the personalities of the people involved. Any idiot with the O'Reily book can set up a root or TLD server, the catch is to get the rest of the world to use it. This requires "consensus".
There have been numerous attempts to resolve this issue with mailing lists - the preferred choice for collaborative work on the Internet - and all have failed miserably. The two main reasons for this are abusive tone, when diplomacy was called for, and lack of any iterative definition and resolution of issues. In short there was not enough structure.
The challenge is to provide enough structure to keep some semblance of order without it turning into a cold, faceless beaurocracy.
The organization of these lists represents an attempt at that workable structure.