If nothing else this discussion has taught me that there's much about browsing the Internet that I didn't know--good stuff!
Yes, it is good stuff!
There's no doubt that concerns like those raised in this thread are a non-issue for experienced, skillful Internet users. Even so, as some have pointed out here, experienced forum users still get annoyed when a feature or function acts significantly differently than they expected. Like Chris, I've several times opened a link, finished with it, and closed it, finding out only too late, and much to my annoyance, that it took my whole browser with it, and that I had to start all over to navigate back to where I'd left off. Yes, it's easy to ctrl-click, or right-click and select the option you want, and I chided myself for not having done that in the first place.
But if experienced users like Chris and myself get annoyed, we can be sure that it happens to others. There are certain conventions and behaviors that people expect, and that we should change only for very good reason. As most of you know, I'm the first person to challenge "conventional wisdom" in most cases, and I've always appreciated Bob Kriegel's suggestion that "if it ain't broke...break it!" But some conventions are important. They're convenient, comforting, and aggravating when broken. There are apparently "faster" keyboards for typing than the conventional "qwerty" arrangement, but there are also plenty of reasons why they haven't caught on.
Forum conventions have evolved over time, and they will continue to evolve. There are areas where EpicSki can lead as the bleeding edge of change. But I can't see any real gain--and as the discussion here has shown, there is a bit to lose--by messing with established conventions like this one. At least for now!