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it's easy for us to support timeout for the redis lock because we are using the lock implementation that comes with the Python redis client. If such a lock exists for memcached, that might be preferable (e.g. if there's something on pypi which is widely used and super-well-written, I'd consider it). otherwise, if submitting a pull req please try to make sure the timeout parameter is tested and does what it advertises.
I have some tentative code that I'm using in a wrapper for dogpile. I'll see if I can distill it. Of course, testing in this case is super important. I will 2x check to see if we have some "lock" mechanism that makes sense to use on pypi before trying to use the more-domain specific code I've developed.