which means that we are getting the name of the file to be read as the first command line argument. But, based on my (granted, limited) understanding, =<> would read from the standard input. Am I completely missing something here again?
wants to read from the standard input with current Pugs, even if command line arguments are given! In contrast, as TimToady pointed it out, it should read from the files given in the command line arguments, if there are any!