Our ideas about what the frontpage is supposed to be about are all well and good, but any rules for frontpaging nodes must take into account how the people who visit the frontpage actually use it - rather than how we'd like them to think of it. In that regard, tye's conclusions are certainly more in touch with reality than anyone else's.
I'm not sure why threads dropping off the frontpage fast is a bad idea. In fact it seems like an excellent way to ensure a fairer distribution of votes - more threads get a more equal amount of exposure.
Makeshifts last the longest.