I take DRTC as a reaction as much as anything else - as such representing an understandable although not articulated critique, and therefore mainly unaware/uncaring of its limitations. Vox does seem to combine this with an air of smugness at its particular brand of dumbing downess. So I guess I see the commentlessness a symptom not the disease even as they see it as a feature not a bug.
For my part, I view your planned heightened prominence of commenters with some alarm. I just as soon some of my comments never see the light of a Wireless Mobile Device again. This may derive partly from my non-participation in social media, and I recognize that it may represent an idiosyncratic view that is unhelpful to the development of your blog. Further expression of this is the fact that I never comment at sites using the externally hosted commenting systems you mentioned. They always seem to be trying to herd me into behavior I don't have an interest in.
On the other hand, you have a vision of possible alternatives in blogness and I find that interesting and would like to see it play out. My ambivalence perhaps is a feature not a bug.