To be honest, I didn't get that tidbit about this not being production-ready from the description either. There were a few things that set up warning flags in my mind, but I was (and am) willing to wait a while for it to actually ship. In the interest of maintaining clarity, here's what I flagged:
In the Overview paragraph: "... has been completely re-imagined" <-- To me, this says that some significant changes were made.
In the first photo - the LCD screens. <-- Physical proof of case design changes; implied firmware and circuitry changes (can't see the changes in the photo, but having prototyped a few things, I know it needs to be done to be functional)
The close-up of the PCB in the "History" section <-- The processor part number MK20DX256. This is not the same processor used by my current Ergodox (an 8-bit AVR microcontroller), but is instead a 32-bit ARM Cortex M4 processor. Basically, it's an entirely different codebase - but I also knew that HaaTa (Jacob Alexander) had build other keyboards based off of this processor (I'd been working with a copy of his codebase already).
The overall picture of the PCB later on in the "Assembly" section. <-- There are two things here.
1. The traces on the PCB. These look like hand-drawn traces with no particular consideration for common design rules. It's not necessarily a bad thing (a lot of professional layout tools are still stuck in the 0/45/90-degree line ruleset, but that's a different topic - and rant - for another day), particularly when dealing with low-frequency stuff like what flies around inside the keyboard, but it makes me question whether or not proper routing was performed for the USB differential pair.
2. The PCB is partially populated. I've seen this step get screwed up so many times, in so many different ways (supplier can't get parts, or promises delivery on date <x> and then blows it)...
In the "Included" section: The fact that it's using an aluminum mounting plate, but acrylic for the rest of the case. Prototypes I've done in the past had problems with machining tolerances; it seems likely that MD would hit the same thing a time or two. Oh, and the Signature Plastics keycaps. As far as I'm concerned, they're perpetually late on things; I haven't had a single group buy from them come in on time. :)
Just to be clear, I'm not trying to bash the board, MassDrop, or you. Alex has done a pretty good job handling a bunch of disappointed customers (seriously, dude, thank you; I wouldn't have your patience.), and HaaTa and others have jumped in to give us details. These are just the things that I flagged as potential problems and so I assumed that there would be delays pushing the delivery date out. I certainly didn't expect this much of a push. I expected this - from the description - to be production-ready. Clearly, it wasn't. I wish that had been made clear in the description; it's great to have a prototype working, but there can be a world of hurt between that point and when you've actually got everything ready to roll off a production line.