When 2.8 was released I was wondering how many people would have been puzzled when upgrading and not finding any of the installed apps, then going back to read the release notes and setup a properly made onboot.lst
Almost no complaints, so for now the TC average user is geeky enough to understand the need for such changes and then adapt. It's not about such changes deserving a mayor version number, even small cosmetic changes could challenge a novel user. One sample: /tce/optional it is no longer about being 'optional', so changing the name to something like /tce/local-repository would clarify its purpose. But such a change would involve apps not starting until moved again to such a new location.
I don't think TC has to rethink anything: it's just the way it is and we know it is a good thing to be the way it is. If someone thinks 2.8 should really be called 0.2.8 that is fine, moreover if that someone thinks that getting to 1.0 means no major changes and stalled thinking for then on.
If 2.9 (or 3.0 or whatever) is not backwards compatible but is greater than any prior version, that is good for me.