My problem with these new currencies is that they don't bring anything new. They are schemes designed to extract wealth from the naive and nothing more. Invent something that isn't just a rip off of the same ideas and I'll consider using it. It is entirely possible that something will replace bitcoin but bitcoin is not going to be replaced with a clone of itself with only minor tweaks.
I never mentioned gambling at all so I'm not sure why you mention that, but I do consider it just a way to extract money from the stupid and/or addicted. That's not really related to me taking the piss out of all these alternative currencies though and is not limited to gambling with bitcoin.
They do bring insights into how the block works with different parameters for difficulty adjustment and also for block rewards and security.
They may all die but they give insights that none of us would be able to pass on without utilizing them as a test bed for what may become the next bitcoin currency (competitor to bitcoin).
The only one that so far has been any use for bitcoins is i0coins since it tested the wallet encryption that's possibly due out with the next release.
All the other issues simply showed that the people who set them up didn't know what they were doing.
There is nothing gained from someone changing code and the badly changed code failing ...
When you work on someone else's code, you make sure you understand it before you hack it ... so that the new version actually works.
That's pretty much how almost all open source projects work ... ... ...