It seems like all of the talk about cruft-free URIs is because people want similar, more comprehendable URIs that don't confuse people. I wonder why this is...
The reason that I like them is not because they are more "readable," but rather because they are future-proof. Recently, I moved my Blog to a new host and after importing all of the entries, found that they were imported with different UIDs in the database... This is because my database contained multiple Blogs and every entry for each Blog was added incrementally according to the date/time of addition, etc., etc.
Couldn't there be some sort of change made to the DB structure so that an Individual Entries were stored within their own Blog's DB Table? (I.e., all entries for Blog #1 would be entered incrementally into a table called "Blog00001," Blog #2 into "Blog00002," etc.) This way, no matter where you ported your Blog to, the permalink IDs would always be the same -- without needing any sort of cruft-free permalink structure.