There are no solid plans for the first alpha release. I'm HOPING for a first version this spring, but it won't be coming until (1) we fix all of the existing bugs that are found here in the next few weeks, (2) we finish implementing some of the important and complex features, such as topic privacy (which is my current programmer's nightmare.)
Anyway, it's nice to see all the love, so I think Wedge will be successful and I'll be eager to release it rather than not.
Wedge isn't finished yet. It's usable on Wedge.org, but it doesn't mean it's usable on any website for now. That's basically the idea.
Yes, Switch to Full Editor is not Ajax, it actually has the full editor loaded by default and simply hides it until it's needed. Same for the 'More' Smileys button, well, technically it pre-caches the main smileys and if you click More, it'll show you all of the uncached smileys, i.e. it'll load them one by one instead of all at the same time.
Yes, Add Media was given the redirect treatment. :)
(Pete, it's possible that the Add Media button was broken by the template rewrite, but I wouldn't bet on that either. Last time I tested it, about 6 months ago, it was working perfectly. And the rewrites predate that.)
(And please don't say the smiley UI is the same as in SMF... It couldn't be further from the truth, ah ah :p)