I actually kind of wish Namecoin was just go away as far as being something traded. I like my digital currencies to have only one purpose. A neat idea, should just go the way of Ripple or whatever. Where it has some kind of user base, but not enough to do anything.
I don't understand what you hate about ripple or namecoin.
Although not as much as LETS, Ripple is kind of local, so if you don't get the people around you to use it, you can't use it.
I'm currently trying to use ripple in my town through villages.cc, but I guess it will take time until enough people want to use it.
It seems hard to start like LETS.
For namecoin, I guess you would prefer a domain chain with no currency where the miners mine for fees paid in bitcoin. That's possible
Namecoin can always be forked for that, it was just easier and more efficient to do it this way.
But why is so important not to create a new currency with a chain service?
The reason why no services are built in bitcoin is to avoid to store all that data within the blockchain. I think having each service in a different chain (with merged mining) is better for everyone. This way users can download only the chains they need.
But I don't understand what is so bad about a chain with a service using its own currency to pay its miners.
Instead of buying domains directly with bitcoins you can buy namecoins with bitcoins and then domains with namecoins. Not a big difference.