Sometimes even a big manufacturer like Samsung surprises: like one of the CyanogenMod developers via Twitter announced that Samsung has provided a Galaxy S2 (the manufacturer's current top model) to facilitate the adaptation of CyanogenMod to the device. This is noteworthy in so far as manufacturers have usually resisted alternative firmware. Slowly a rethinking seems to be taking place: HTC has also released the bootloader, so that alternatives can be developed here as well.
Actually, alternative Android versions shouldn't be necessary at all: if the manufacturers were to upgrade their devices to the current Android version in a timely manner, the work of the volunteer developers would only need to be done to unlock features such as overclocking capabilities. Even if this still seems utopian at the moment, it's a good step if the manufacturers gradually realize that the modding community is unstoppable and that you might even be able to improve the value of your own device by supporting them.