Just a suggestion....
Interesting idea. The latest page would always be full once one got filled. Recent content would be all on the same page. I like that idea. I guess the top of page celebrators might have a more difficult job attaining that goal.
Bob creates one of his typical, well-crafted posts. It happens to be post #30 (or any multiple of 30). When someone posts #31 (or #61, or #91, etc) after that, and a viewer goes to look at that post, (probably via "new posts"), it will be the first post on a new page, and Bob's post will now be the last post on the previous page, thus not displayed. So...
Invert the dominant paradigm! ;-)
The presentation of a Twitter feed could be one approach to avoid being "relegated to near-obscurity", at least in the short term.
Actually, when I use New Posts OR the Activity Feed (when it's working) it doesn't take me to the LAST post, but to the first UNREAD post. So, I get them in order and if I've been reading the thread anyway, I don't need to go back and find the older posts to understand the current discussion. I just haven't found the current way it works to be an issue. However, I'd still like the feature we had in vBulletin where it only shows you all the threads you haven't read.
Good point. Epic can be pretty slow, so nothing to add to that. The Twitter model not so good then from the loading standpoint.
Still, it is pretty standard web user interface these days to have "last in, first displayed", and present a chunk of content with a "show more" button at the bottom of the page. Start with last X number of posts, click "show more" to see X more in same page. (X could be 30, or some other number.)
If sticking with the discrete page model that would be a nice option. And the page model does mitigate potential resource issues for posts that are loaded with large numbers of pics. That could be a problem with a "show more" model viewing something like "More Retro Memories...".