I'm not going to sit around all day beleaguering talking points. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, myths, etc. My questions lie more in the fact that we seem to be dead set on forcing one or the other down everyone else's throats.
Open Source development by its very nature is a good idea. It allows a bunch of people to test and report bugs on software, and even fix it and submit fixes if they see fit. The downside to this is it's a lot like the chokepoint in communism, you can't really rely on people to always do the right thing, and despite what others might say, it is orders of magnitude easier to compromise something when you can run directly against the source code. That being said, it still theoretically allows for resolutions for problems to be achieved faster, because you have more people working on the problem.
Openness tends to also lead to the vast fragmentation you see if in communities. There's not a definite line a lot of times, but there are plenty of people who disagree on a project, so they take a gpl sourcebase and wander off in another direction to develop it without the concensus of the previous group they were a part of. Hence why you end up with so many linux variants, that are largely compatible, but the left hand doesn't really talk to the right.
Closed Source development is also by its very nature a good idea. The difference is, it's a good idea for business. It stops competitors from simply walking in, making minor changes and stealing work your company may have spent millions,and in some cases billions, developing. At present, closed source targets are appealing because they generally have large amounts of money behind them, and selling bugs to companies translates into a lot of money (50-100k USD on average, depending on severity).
Closed development leads to a similar degree of fragmentation as we see in open source, the biggest difference is you see very hard lines in the sand, with vast gaps between them as far as development methodologies and technologies are concerned. A lot of times closed source software develops cleaner codebases, but the lack of abstraction and interoperability makes them less than friendly with their competitor's software packages. This is changing slowly, but it's still largely the case.
It all comes down to views on intellectual property. Both sides seem to have completely different definitions of fair use, intellectual property, what should and shouldn't be patentable, etc. It all seems to stem from their experiences and the areas they operate in (consumer and business, for example), and the needs and demands of those sectors.
The compare and contrast method may be woefully insufficient here, both options have their merits, and it comes down to opinion in the end. There's no real way for anyone to prove that one concept has a vast advantage over the other from a global perspective. My thoughts on the subject is that they both have their place, and they both exist in the areas of technology they were designed to bolster. The problem comes in when people (like ECIS), try to demand that everyone adopt the *same* development practices. I don't know about you, but that, to me, sounds like extreme homogenization.
So, I suppose the question is this: Aren't people entitled to their opinions, and shouldn't we have a right to choose what we want to do with our intellectual property?
Note: Any antitrust derailment will result in immediate filtering. I'm not looking to make this a bashing session for ANYONE. This is about a development methodology, not specific companies.