I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before, but here's my take:
- Maintainer: The person who currently maintains a package. - Contributor: The person who first submitted the package. If a package is so badly constructed that it needs to be rewritten from scratch, the contributor tag would only list the person who did the rewrite.
I know we've agreed on multiple contributor tags, but I believe the method detailed above is cleaner, more maintainable and more straight-forward. I'll most likely adopt it for my own packages, but I'm not saying that anyone else should.
I would say that we should hold a voting to make a final decision. However, it's not an important issue at all, so the current way of doing things (multiple contributor lines) is sufficient.