Taking your questions from last to first:
Anyone can fork Git, but github.com has an enormous first-comer and network-effect advantage, so much so that, according to @dirvine, Maidsafe is consolidating their development there because the alternatives haven’t had enough uptake.
I expect there will be forks with their own coin, but they will be analogous to alt-coins versus Bitcoin. If they are straight clones then hardly anyone will use them except for testing (and, indeed, Bitcoin does have a testing branch with “faucet” dispensed coin). So there’s real-world precedent for that.
If you have to ask whether you buy the coin, then you haven’t done much research at all. Safecoin does not exist yet. Maidsafecoin is a colored Bitcoin that is a token that is promised to be exchangeable for Safecoin when it comes. Maidsafecoin was issued in a crowdsale and there was no secret pre-mining; @dirvine donated his to a charitable foundation that owns such IP as there is.
Yes, check back next year, next month, or tomorrow, whatever your level of interest. But if you’re a speculator, don’t come back.
The concept is extensible, so there will be a lot of development beyond the MVP. However, the preliminary testing seems to indicate that the network fundamentals do work as expected.
You don’t say what sort of engineers you spoke to. Most engineers, like most people, are rote workers, who don’t build anything entirely new, and only recognize things once they exist.