Predominantly from my own experience (I've been type 1 diabetic for 27-28 years now, the last 7½ of those years using a pump (CSII or Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion therapy)), but also from caring for type 2 diabetes sufferers in a residential setting ... when I used to work caring for elderly people.
As you are no doubt aware, 90-95% of people who have diabetes are type 2. This is a condition where the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin that is produced by the pancreas. In fact, this type of patient may actually produce more insulin than is required. They simply can't utilise it. Sometimes the pancreas' of these patients 'wear out', meaning that the pancreas simply can not keep up with the demands placed on it. i.e., the islet cells slow down production of insulin. These patients do then go on to need insulin shots. This does not, however, mean that they become insulin dependent as their pancreas is still producing insulin ... just not enough of it for their bodily needs. Things that can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes include, but are not limited to, obesity and lack of exercise.
In type 1 diabetes, the patient suffers with an autoimmune condition. Although this may be present from birth, it is not always the case. What happens is that you carry a predisposition towards developing type diabetes. It is usually, though this is still debated in medical circles, 'brought on' by the patient suffering an infection, some trauma, lack of being breastfed, and a multitude of other things.
Type 1 diabetics are ALWAYS insulin dependent. This is because the body's autoimmune system has sought to destroy what it sees as an 'invasion' by a foreign body ... namely the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans. Without these beta cells being there, there is no way the pancreas can produce it's own insulin. Hence the need for insulin injections. This currently lasts for the rest of the diabetic's life. Having said that, there are currently experimental techniques ... as there have been for at least 30 years ... whereby pancreases have been replaced, placed in 'piggyback' formation, islet cells have been transplanted, etc.
There are, of course, other areas of research that are ongoing, some of which you may already be aware. My advice there is to 'play it by ear' ... i.e., listen to the news, particularly from research scientists, but don't get your hopes up for an immediate cure.
I forgot to mention that I also gather knowledge from medical texts, both online and books that I either own or borrow from my library, as well as having a personal relationship with my own endocrinologist.
I, myself, have been on a potential recipient list for islet cell transplantation for about 19 months now, but in the UK it's still in the experimental stages, and there doesn't seem to be the funding for it to go forward very rapidly.
I'm not exactly blaming big pharmaceutical companies for the delay, but just think how much regular income they'd be losing if a cure were suddenly found for type 1 diabetes.