Sorry, what I should have said is, "what does Google get out of ODP that benefits the user?"
Page and Brin clearly identified the weaknesses of ODP-style directories in 1998, and little has changed. Yes, Google must feel they have a reason for using its data as they do and allowing it to influence rankings to the extent that it does. I know that point remains in question, but would any of us say no to an extra 151 backlinks from separate domains?
My sense in this situation is that Google lacks the proper perspective to see how the ODP weakens their position as an impartial resource. I'm not claiming my perspective is much clearer, but I'd say this is a rare case where the average webmaster's viewpoint may be as lucid as any. The fact is, I've had no trouble getting sites listed after some follow-up and I've even had a site listed that I never submitted. Unfortunately, too many editors interject their self-interest and biases into their work, they don't stay current or proactively add good resources, and many just don't seem to be doing the job at all. Rankings shouldn't depend on these people, to any extent. Google's inability to adequately filter the mirrors only exacerbates the problem and amplifies its effect.
Clearly this needs to change, and the simplest way to accomplish this is for Google to sever all ties with the ODP, cease the use of its data, and improve the detection of mirrors.