I've been considering raincoaster's point of view above in terms of personally defining what I believe to be "commercial":
The articles themselves were worthwhile and while they are obviously a PR activity, they're not commercial so much as professional. Does that distinction make sense? There is no transaction is what I mean.
Yes, this does make sense to me. I certainly support global information sharing. And I think one of the most wonderful aspects of the internet is the fact that information is shared without the expectation of financial gain.
IMO if your blog post articles are all aimed at driving business to your "affiliates" or to your own business ventures, or if in fact you only have a blog in order to pimp it to make a buck then your blog would be better placed in self hosting or web hosting with a wordpress.org template.
As far as all the dialogue about the quality of hosting goes we know at the very least that one host whom wank and sunburntkamel have identified can offer quality wordpress support for an affordable fee. But more to the point IMO it's up to people in business to make their own arrangements to secure both the goods and services they need to remain in business. Hence IMO whether or not the blogger can cope with wordpress technology or whether or not most web hosts know how wordpress works and can provide their clients with effective support really has no legitimate place in this discussion.
IMO in accord with the words in the ToS and the underlying intent there should be no business transactions of any kind conducted on a wordpress.com blog. Setting aside VIP accounts which I have no problem with, IMO the wordpress.com blogging community ought to be comprised of those for whom blogging is a passion. And the wordpress.org community ought to be comprised of those who blog for profit and/or a variety of other reasons.
Relaxation of the policy interpretation is also likely to give rise to an influx of new bloggers from the legions out there who want to game the search engines, go SEO optimization competition crazy, and spam their blogs with ads all for a dubious few bucks a month. On top of that, within the inflow we will probably find blog scrapers who create no content of their own and have strings of blogs acting as prostitutes for gaining minimal ad revenue.
Relaxation of the boundaries of policy interpretation will also mean that the members of the community who do answer questions on the forum will be helping those folks whom they do not believe ought to be given a legitimate place in the wordpress.com community in the first place. This will do more to unravel community than it does to knit it together.
Mostly, there are various historical reasons why commercialisation of wordpress is a sensitive issue and Automattic has to tread carefully on this.
Although I know that ToS policy must allow for staff discretion and I have no issues with that, I would like to see Automattic clarify the policy on this in a manner that demonstrates respect for the history wank points to.
My thanks to Veltis for giving us an opportunity to speak to this important issue. And I hope others will also choose to enter the dialogue.