The difference between FARR and Dash is basically what differentiates free/donationware from payware in general. In effect, the focus is quite different. The former does not have the pressure or the absolute focus of maximizing adoption and therefore, revenue. It is this pressure that ultimately steers the developer. Time after time after time, experience has shown that for any software to be widely received and adopted it must be visually mind blowing, colorful, skinnable and sometimes at the expense of its features. Also, the application must deliver straight out of the box easily, naturally, and spontaneously.
There is no better example historically and currently than Apple in all its products and the iPhone is a startling example. Having sold more than 1/2 million 2-year contracts in less than 48 hours is so perplexing for my humble mind. A so called 'revolutionary' phone that requires user 2 steps to hang up a call is truly puzzling. But who cares, who on earth can resist its layout, colors, and interface.
I think FARR comes from a totally different notion that is liberated from market pressure and revenue numbers crunching. Therefore, it lacked the user interface and got so technically bloated, IMH, with features some of which is repelling for users e.g. RegExp aliases.
I'm a power user and care the less for user interface at the expense of functionality. I have looked at most (if not truly all) launchers over the past 2-3 years and I can say with confidence that there is no launcher on this planet as feature full as FARR and I can bet a thousand dollars on it.
It has all to do why a developer is making his/her software. His/her motives, intentions, orientation will inescapably show in the software in some form or another.