Femme:tG Vintage Extraordinaire
Point I do think that, even if Wizards shuttered tomorrow, Vintage would still have a strong community and an evolving metagame (see: old school) but it is very true that new printings have had an increasingly high impact on the format.
Regarding the standard combo, from Sam's article today, they were at least aware of it at the time of bannings (if not before).
I'm not sure how ya'll feel about your Dredge match-up, but getting out-raced by Toolcraft on stream tonight was a beating. It's fast, closes the door way faster than thought-knot.
This deck is hella powerful, honestly no idea how to side effectively against ya'll. Nice work!
@Brass-Man This, wholeheartedly. Maybe this is to see if combo can exist in Standard, safely. Either way, Old School & Vintage aren't going away. We're existing in an area entirely unsupported by Wizards as it is, other than being thrown a bone or two in every set for Vintage.
There's a Vintage event on the 22nd, if you're out here soon enough! http://themanadrain.com/topic/935/1-22-vacaville-forgotten-path-games
I agree with essentially all of your listed pros and cons, but find that the "shit I don't know" is essentially the crux of the problem - every single card does not need its own thread. You pointed out some excellent examples of cards that deserve their own threads, or at least merit discussion. It's exactly the "well maaaaaaybe this is possibly playable" cards that are the problem, i think. And people seem to have issue discerning. I'd be happy to see a thread for every card that fit in one of the categories you listed, and with as much detail as noted.
I'd also note that subforums, and the ability to unsubscribe from them, seems to solve everyone's issues. New card discussion goes in one, and gets moved when a card proves its relevance - in which point it should be in an archetype thread, or legitimate strategy questions could be raised in the main forum.
I mean there is a thread about Mechanized Production. C'mon.
Here's a thread for discussion of this topic: http://themanadrain.com/topic/911/vintage-strategy-spoiler-subforum