I do not donate because as you said, most devs are not developers at all, simply modifiers and tweakers of software created by the companies selling the phones. A true developer (eg someone who can write fresh code such as a camera driver for ICS or similar) would be a much more viable candidate to receive a donation, however this won't happen as seemingly no dev is able to actually code, instead waiting for official software. Until "developing" becomes more than copy-paste with a couple tweaks, I do not believe donations should be requested.
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Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7105 - CleanROM ACE 4.9 + Adam Kernel 2.4 - Android 4.1.2 Jellybean - TouchWiz
Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000 - CyanogenMod 10.1 + Mackay Kernel 0.292 - Android 4.2.2 Jellybean - AOSP
Noza 7.0 - Rooted Stock ROM - Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich - AOSP
HTC Desire HD, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro, ZTE Racer