Sidenote, Pixelmon received a C&D, not a DMCA, for 5.1.2 and its launcher. And though Pixelmon work is now stuck, some users, like me, will be staying on Sponge to do further work in development, documentation, testing or support.
Anyways, there is a reason why Spigot is frowned upon here: it reeks of rivalry. I like Sponge because it allows for far more developer-user interaction, where the user is pushed to do their work; by testing and reporting for issues. It allows for features to be added to everyone, and as such, they normally are far more modular and flexible (see GP’s meta options, or Nucleus’ module setup). Users that want an addition are expected to contribute, and that gives far more value to the overall result. Though competition would be welcomed, at least such plugins allow for ample customization to fit practically every use-case due to the amount of contributors.
Most importantly, it is a small community, perhaps slower than Spigot, but it is a far closer one. It is a community initiative. Premium sections would jeopardize what so far has been an open-minded, proactive and welcoming environment where users and devs are encouraged to work together for everyone, not just themselves.
@stephen92 As for existing issues with existing plugins, most developers go out of their way to help and support users - just contact them directly, be it by discord/pms/githubs/etc. From experience, people do jump to help others here. If the plugin is new or abandoned, it entirely comes down to a dev’s available time and desire, and that is something we, as users, should understand.