I'll chip in on your rambling, because I started a student journal as an undergrad, and went through the whole pattern. At the beginning we wanted to make the thing all open, free, all collaboration, all love. It remained a free publication but we did put a lot of evil words in it like: scheduling, organization, decision hierarchy, and the word "no". A lot of the crowd that was in for the free lunch at the beginning did not stay when the presses were rolling.
I think the onus of responsibility and committment extends to the participants, not just to the leader. Whenever you have a great idea, you'll have lots of people coming over and saying "yeah dude, great idea, give me a call" but only those who have a sense of what they want to contribute to your project will stay with you. Those who fail to do so can be great cheerleaders (if they haven't forgotten you and went on to recite their slam poetry) but they won't get the show running.
There is often a tendency to belittle the importance of commitment in volunteer projects because they are, after all volunteer projects. It's true, it shouldn't take priority over your job or your personal life, but what would you say if you fell on the street, broke a leg, and someone just helped you halfway to the hospital? One's commitment has to follow from the task one decides to undertake, so if you can't help someone to fully walk to the hospital, then call them a cab instead!
In sum, I think volunteer projects, especially collective ones, may not tax a lot of resources upon their participants, but what they ask for they should get. I'd put this attitude into a general ethos of "there's no reason to botch things." I've seen many people not realise this.