Some very interesting discussions have been going on in lj recently. Of particular note is this post by theotherjay, and these two posts by silmaril (the first one by silmaril was posted in the last LR). The posts themselves are quite interesting, but the ensuing discussions are perhaps even more so. Long as the posts are, do read them. If I manage to find time this weekend I'll be writing something of a companion piece in a similar vein.