I do not necessarily agree with the idea to do away with ESpeak. I believe that is a case of "horses for causes."
In South Africa, more specifically, at the Institute for the Blind in Worcester where I am a lecturer, we extensively use ESpeak to read Afrikaans. And may I say, the quality of ESpeak's Afrikaans is actually very good.
I won't mind if the developers do away with ESpeak, but before that happens I want definite proof that the replacement program has, at least, the same quality, preferably, better.