Andrei Herasimchuk explains further in a posting on the ixda list:
“…guys like Shaun Inman are the model for interface designers, if not now, then at least 5 to 10 years out. Whether you ever achieve his level of ability to design great interfaces both from a visual and interaction level simultaneously, while also being able to code it, is not the point. The point for this community, in my humble opinion, is to make the goals lofty, and aim to become or create designers of his caliber going forward. Shaun’s work is the epitome professionalism in this medium.”
I agree that’s certainly one direction for those who want to practice deeply and intensely the art of interaction/UI design. There are other paths, of course, if you want to go down the strategy and consulting / educator / auteur paths or revered design principal perhaps. But Shaun is definitely the man in his own unique and powerful way of contributing to damn good design.