To anyone reading my post: I acknowledge that it is a feature (after all, it's documented and sometimes useful) and not a bug.
I disagree. That is like saying that carrying a loaded and unlocked gun with you all the time is sometimes useful. You'll accidently shoot someone that way, likely even yourself while not even handling the gun.
If people want to make use of the effect that this kind of "feature" achieves now, they should program the loop explicitely. How much work is it? Is it really worth the savings?
Again, in summary: <> should only try to open existing files, and for reading only.