Also, I wonder if there is a provision (perhaps in a "preferences" section I don't know about) to have an email sent when someone replies (this is a very limited format for an open-ended exchange ...)
It's an old pg trick to put a speed bump on flamewars (edit: the 'reply' link does show up after a few minutes), but you can get around it by clicking the timestamp of the comment you want to reply to.
I've relaxed the depth limit a notch, too.
Also do you have a favorite piece of software?
Good question, but I don't have a good answer (perhaps too much of an idealist ...)
You should setup a Twitter or a blog or something. But I'm sure I'm not the first person to suggest this. Or even better write a book.
On some level though I think that making more people acquainted with what you are working on might be beneficial to making progress.
> I don't have time to do justice to the top three things I'm trying to do.
I cannot not ask what those top three things are :-). I'm pretty familiar with your work but I'm not sure what the top three things are.
To see replies, click on "Threads" at the top of the page. I don't know if there is any standard way of getting an email notification.