Considering how many releases we've seen since 2.0 (we're looking at what now, 2.6.2?) without any progress whatsoever that actually evolves the functionality and stability of the PU, it's amazing that anyone even cares whether or not there's a patch that CIG will arbitrarily declare to be "3.0."
By this time, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that the release of the 3.0 patch is just as dangerous for CIG as the release of the final game. Too much has been promised, too many things have been pushed back into this 3.0 pipe dream, for it to be anything less than game changing.
Obviously, if something called "3.0" comes out, it will be indistinguishable from what's already on the PU, including the completely broken and unfit engine. So over the next few weeks, as "2.6.2" gets dribbled out, expect to hear more and more features being walked back to prepare for the underwhelming reality of 3.0.
Already we've seen the first steps: "cargo" will just be a number, "piracy" will just be the same NPC ships we have now, "bounty hunting" will just be a line of text telling you to kill a pirate, etc. Basically the game will be just as broken as now, but there will be a new line of text somewhere in the UI.
The company line is that they'll "layer in the fidelity over time." The reality is that they can't make this game; not with this engine, not with this team, and especially not with this leader. Now it's all about keeping up appearances and buying time.
Unfortunately, there's nothing to buy time for. Chris Roberts has piledriven another great idea into the dirt, and CIG does not exist in a vacuum. By the time they shit out version "6.0", we'll be playing games made by real companies that offer everything CIG promised, and they'll be celebrating a new AI advancement that allows NPC pilots to work their landing gear.