I think alternatives to bitcoin as a great thing, but only when they are equally open sourced, not centrally managed, and offering an actual advantage to bitcoin.
I think the only thing that others seem to bring up is faster transactions, which is pretty good if you want something for local purchasing. It hardly seems worth the fork though.
Something I would like to see in an alternative would be un-trackable transactions. Some sort of public block record, that would be some how encrypted in a way where you can add to it transactions, but not be able to trace the route of the funds.
I see no way that this is doable, but then again, I am not knowledgable in this area. I just put it out there for someone smarter than myself.