Scratchpad viewmode is 'sticky' because it made several things managable. Its not ideal, but it does work pretty well.
Anyway, to be clear: if 'viewmode' is not specified when viewing a scratchpad it will display in the last mode explicitly requested. Selectcode to download support (in all forms) from a scratchpad depends on this stickyness.
What was wrong is that a key function, called scratchpad_link was not supplying a default mode. This is fixed now, so there should be no more surprising behaviour, except if people link to your own scratchpad by id. People linking to your pad using [pad://user] will get the correct thing (as it uses scratchpad_link).
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