I have been to Boston exactly twice in two years, both times for VLE conferences. Two years ago I went to the Blackboard conference and this year to Sakai. I was able to compare and contrast. The food was better this time but the bags and goodies were a bit thin. Sakai was definately more techie than teachy and the examples given/shown of VLE use would have been equally at home in any other VLE.
When you attempt to bring togther at a conference a large open source project and educational professionals, words like community, developer, user, client, support, designer, partcipant, instruction, get very confused, with bothsides using the same words to mean quite different things. Add a UK/US twist to the mix and I found myself in some rather odd conversations. Nonethess I learned loads, more than I did at Blackboard, and there was slightly less whooping and cheering.