Re: requests. RPM is the metric that New Relic reports, and it's the one most of our customers use when they talk about traffic. I try to speak in whatever terms are most familiar to our customers.
Re: I can't speak to Google and Amazon, and they aren't representative of the size of our customers anyway. We have discussed with many folks who run ops at many companies that are more on par with the size of our mid- and large-sized customers, and single global request queues are exceedingly rare.
The most common setup seems to be clusters of web backends (say, 4 clusters of 40 processes each) that each have their own request queue, but with random load balancing across those clusters. This is a reasonable happy medium between pure random and global request queue, and isn't too different from what you get running (say) 16 processes inside a 2X dyno and 8 web dynos.