My previous root node in this section
made me think, why people could prefer to use a Jeopardy style ordering (newest stuff at the top), which, to me, seems a most unnatural thing to do — especially for several messages in the same conversation, that appear to go backwards as it progresses.
I could only think of one reason: to always see the newest messages, in what could be a huge pile. The pile could be that huge, that it gets truncated. For example, the Chatterbox Sidebar only shows at most 2 messages.
Wouldn't it be a good idea to show just the last messages in your inbox, instead of the first?
I've tested it, that's what the Chatterbox does. And Message Inbox, too. Even if it does say at the bottom "Plus 2 earlier (of 5) messages not shown.", those are actually the more recent messages.
My proposal: the way I'd prefer it, is that the sublist of messages get selected in reverse chronological order, for example the latest 10 by default, but that the display order is chronological, if that's what the user chose in his settings.