P2 is ready to drop this week.
And, like a human birth, it seemed like a great idea 9 months ago, has started to cause some pain and annoyance to its parents (the p2 developers) and relatives (the early adopters in the community), and comes with much excitement & some trepidation. (And some bugs.) I kid. ;)
Bear in there, though. As with human births, people will remember not the pain of birth, but the years of joy to come.
What's that you say? How can you help? Download the latest good Eclipse platform w/ p2, try it out, and report your successes/problems. Documentation from the newbie/end-user experience & related testing is (IMHO) urgently needed. If you configure your plugins with .eclipseextensions (eg., Update Manager) or .link files, just unpack zips or use some other approach, try p2 and see if the new dropins folder format or installer work for your usecase. Note also this patch, should you encounter a similar glitch.
Meanwhile, p2's proud parents have already started working on the nursery pending their new arrival: there' already a lot of documentation out there for you to explore.
People, don't blog when sick, tired, and under the gun to deliver 8 project builds. You risk being misread, as I clearly have. Apologies to those that saw and didn't appreciate the previous edits of this post.