Thanks, Dave and Bill, for your comments.

Let me clarify my own stance. (And, by the way,
it's not a *huge* issue with me.)

Quite simply, I've gotten used to reading the
mailing list without threading. I read them in
sequence and keep the threads in my head.
No, it's not optimal.

I also have the habit (though I can't logically
justify it) of "thinking" about the messages in 
that way. The current message is always the
highest-numbered one, and it is always at the
top of my list. I can always tell how long it's 
been since the last post. I can tell whether the
post I just made has made it out to the list yet,
because it jumps to the top. I can watch the
"spurts" of posting as the Earth turns and 
different time zones become dominant. This 
is all half-conscious and irrelevant really. But
it's how I think. 

And I sometimes keep message numbers in 
my head or in my notes, even when not referring
to them publicly. They're easy to locate, because
I keep all the Ruby ML in its own folder (with a
message rule), and they're all in numerical sequence.

So my usage patterns are probably inefficient
and quirky.

Anyhow, I'll quietly go along with Matz and/or
the majority on this issue. Enough said already.

Thanks,
Hal Fulton