I could never work in any of these "open plan" bullsh-pen suggestions. What's next, uniforms and fox-holes? A few people can work well like that, but not everyone. We could easily list a large number of teams and companies (both Bazaar and Cathedral style) who are extremely effective without playpen spaces.
I couldn't agree more. Working in an open playpen is certainly *not* for everyone. I think a lot of it boils down to your personality. I can't think of anything worse than someone looking over my shoulder all day long - or forced to look over someone else's shoulder myself. That would drive me nuts. I like to put on my headphones and start banging out code.
Where I work, all non manager types live in the cubie farm. The developers are all in the same area. When we need to ask each other questions we do - there's no need to get up from our cubies. We have an open area (i.e corner of office next to the window) that we use for our meetings. It all works extremely well. You certainly don't need an open playpen to be productive.