I should actually like to see a specific breakdown which shows precisely what the 44 x $50,000 application fees were spent on.
Assuming ICANN is open, transparent, and accountable, these figures should be available.
Applicants were paying for a specific product, and assuming ICANN's "tax" on their applications was not merely arbitrary, there should be some account of where every dollar of the $2,200,000 was spent.
Or - perish the thought - was any of this money diverted to pay other ICANN debts, not connected with the NewTLD process at all?
Can anyone produce the figures, because without them, it's kind of hard to suggest the next round of application fees is justifiable.
Of course, if ICANN keeps putting off any more sTLDs then this discussion may be academic for a while. Nevertheless, how ICANN spent their money is a question worth asking.