What you say about package removals is simply not true. Before a package is orphaned, it normally has been unmaintained for many months, and has been probably NMU'ed several times, after the RC bugs piled up or the package simply sucked or didn't work anymore. And when this happens, either someone else takes the package, or it gets orphaned, which doesn't mean it gets kicked out from unstable. When a package is orphaned, it starts being maintained by Debian's Quality Assurance team. It must stay in that state and have many other problems before the people at QA decide it's time to get it removed. A recent example is non-free ssh2. It has been unmaintained for like 2years+ and it's still in Debian (not for much longer).
Regarding aj's first round of package removals for Sarge, note that this is a nice way of getting people that care about the package (maintainers or non-maintainers) to fix the packages they don't want to see removed. This mostly means the entire list of proposed packages. Those that aren't saved are probably not useful for any developer or any users with the skills to tackle the bug: just sending a patch to the BTS is enough for someone else to upload the fix.
Please don't say we remove packages so happily. It's a long process.