Or it could be put off by a great Bitcoin crackdown, a campaign of assassinations or s/t like that?
Where do the miners/pools connect to get their problems to solve?
Sorry for the noobness, but I am too lazy to study the white papers.
miners connect to pools. and pools broadcast, a solved block.
the only centralized parts are exchanges, mining pool, and forums. each can be replaced by some p2p-type of system.
mining pools: p2pool, or solo mining.
forums: well we can always make more of them.
you would have to assassinat all bitcoin users, to make it stop.