The thing that stands out about the earlier tracker/mailing list discussions is how very few people affirmatively wanted ipaddr added to the standard library. Most people thought it sounded ok in principle, didn't care, or thought it was not a great idea but didn't feel like arguing about it.
I specifically thought "manipulating IP addresses is a frequent task, and probably everybody's requirements will be different. So starting with this library is as good as starting with any other - we can add use cases as we go". I was in favor of ipaddr because his author offered to maintain it. I then didn't have the time to review it myself, and was happy that others picked it up.