If ITN experience was anything to go by, the biggest hurdle for the entire ITN lifecycle was the phase between introduction to stabilisation of decentralised peer-to-peer networking.
The issues discovered ranged from tuning TCP parameters at OS level, memory optimisations within code, tuning number of connection requests made by nodes and so on.
While IOHK is very confident of possibly not hitting as many issues with Haskell implementation, the initial round of testing (in absence of network discovery) does not go with the same tone
(i.e. ofcourse, excluding testing ideal case scenario - viz, synchronised topology.json between x number of nodes spawned on similar OS, with similar devops scripts, same parameters, config, health status, etc - being monitored based on specific set of measurements)
Now, I understand that we would want the basics to be working well before going on to Network Discovery, I would expect the release cycle not dates and plan to be clear (and shareable) from IOHK about when in the lifecycle should we expect the network discovery being enabled?
I would expect this to be part of minimal viable milestone before a measurable public testnet can be worked upon. In absence of results of this critical component, I find it very difficult to measure how well (or not) the experience is.