Fascinating article. I’ve considered such schemes before and, more recently, have had to learn how to do the “scary operational” work that they’re aiming to avoid. “Scary” is the word.
Rearchitecting RealMail to work this way is not a feasible option (so I’ll continue to dream :-)), but that the approach is viable says something for the design of, say, MyISAM; that perhaps you’re better off without the sophisticated features in the first place.
20090311 UPDATE: s//that they’re aiming to avoid/