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i love my linux desktop and i don't use windows since windows 98 we were refering to massive market microsoft windows heavy contender distro is not feasible yet since many issue need to be addressed first[i put a nice list some post ago] and until most of those issue are fixed will be a very hard task to achieve
I guess Mint is okay but don't they use a lot of Canonical repos for stuff? Package updates, kernel backports, etc.? They seem pretty dependent.
Mint could switch to a Tanglu base.
That said, the whole Debian fetish is overrated. Something Mint-ish could easily also be achieved with an openSUSE or Fedora base (Korora already does something like that with Fedora, btw).