Here is what I think of the coming changes:
I run the dmdpool.digsys.bg pool. That pool is running proportional payments without pool fees. It has originally had payments fees identical with the DMD network fees, but since MPOS has different fees for auto and manual payments it has higher fee for the manual payments (in order to encourage people to set up auto payments and not keep their coins with the pool). Of course, anyone can donate. But very few ever do (surprise??
). For the several months in operation, the pool has mined approx 9850 DMD, received approx 12 DMD as donation and 8 DMD in fees. Which makes more, or less 0.2% effective "pool fee".
Now, with the new change, DMD effectively has global 5% mining fee, that goes towards coin development. Look at it as "federal tax" -- the different pools might actually impose additional taxes.
Now, is this too much? I would not say so, mostly because you could lose a lot more in poorly performing coin network and software.
About the best approach to the hard fork. I too, will advise against two hard forks in short sucession. This will only create problems, especially considering our coin team's love for secrecy
It is best however to make PoS operational as soon as possible. This has the "bad" side effect of increasing DMD price and we will mine less with the same resources, but then we should compensate that with the high PoS.
If the PoS algorithm is independent of the PoW algorithm, then there should be no problem to release an PoS-enabled wallet -- the key is how to handle the PoS conflict with current wallets. When PoS is enabled, current wallet would PoS with 1% and the new with 50%? This could create a mess.
I have another idea: we declare the hard fork at block 400,000. Now, an wallet is released, with scrypt PoW only, programmed to disable PoW after block 400,000. Those who update to this new wallet (let's call it v2.0.0), will still be able to PoS after that block. When the hard fork happen, those sers could update the wallet if they need PoW, or not. That is, they might never be interested in minning.
There are generally three types of wallets, that we need to care for:
1. Store/trade wallet. This one never mines, not even solo. It is used to store/transfer/mint coins. For this wallet, PoS functioning is enough, it won't care about PoW algorithm switch. This one can be released now, I believe.
2. Experimentator wallet. The typical personal wallet, for those who like to thinker. Thy will store/transfer/mint coins there and they will solo mine from time to time. PoS must function, and PoW should function, but is not critical. This one too, can be released now. If someone's (solo) PoW stops suddenly, they will notice and update.
3. Pool wallets. These generally do not PoS, but PoW all the time. They could use an updated wallet if it will PoW fine. They will update when algorithm switch happens.
Which brings me to my other issue: we pool operators do need as early as possible access to an functioning PoW-wise wallet. We do support the network in a major way, not only because we generate PoW blocks, but because we also run permanent nodes that support the network.