There was a lengthy response from Linus, with a couple of gems inside:
I certainly agree that almost any project will want a "central" repository in the sense that you want to have one canonical default source base that people think of as the "primary" source base.
But that should not be a technical distinction, it should be a social one, if you see what I mean. The reason? Quite often, certain groups would know that there is a primary archive, but for various reasons would want to ignore that knowledge.
Right on. Git can model SVN centralized model if that is what makes sense in your organization, and you can still have all the benefits of Git.
If you are thinking if Git (or Mercurial even) is for you, and you are a SVN user, check the Git for SVN users document.