Good points, and I appreciate from a community member's POV the focus on people not technology, but what that sounds like outside these discussion boards is that we admit our tech is not as good and therefore all we can say is we have committed people. I'm not sure that's the image Wikidot should be showing the world (although of course certainly part of the image).
When I refer people to a wiki host, I have to realize that creating a pretty site on Wikidot takes work and using the interface is not always intuitive. The basic PBWorks editing interface is obscenely easy to use and ideal for less tech-savvy (or less interested) users. PBWorks is built on the premise that most wiki users just want a space to do collaborative work without having to fuss with learning much. I think Wikidot should take that seriously. Most wiki users don't want to learn something new. They just want to convey their ideas. Anything more requires time and motivation, which not every person has.
And the superior graphics make a big difference because that conveys to users that you are a trustworthy, secure site. Appearances matter.
So what distinguishes Wikidot? In my mind, besides the community, Wikidot stands out for two things: FLEXIBILITY and CONTROL. I "own" my sites in that I feel I can do whatever I want with them. I am limited only by my own technological shortcomings. This is NOT TRUE with PBWorks (although it is kind of true with Wordpress, but their focus is on blogging). With PBWorks, they actually discourage you from almost any site customization and CSS editing (they make it sound like you need to be a genius to do it). And not only that, only paying members can customize their wiki beyond the absolutely boring model they provide. (Regular users can only select a different "color scheme"—blech).
I learn a lot and get many ideas about site development by seeing what other people have done. But can you see an example of someone else's PBWorks site? I'm still looking.
With PBWorks, I feel trapped and suffocated. This may partly reflect my greater comfort and experience with Wikidot, but it more closely speaks to the very real limitations on what I can do with a wiki there.
So to wrap up, Wikidot would not be amiss if as a long term strategy it furthered goals of improved graphics and usability. At the same time, what distinguishes Wikidot in addition to its vibrant community is the flexibility and control it delivers to all users.