Besides the technical issue (orphaning possible replies), what's to stop someone from making an inflammatory comment, allowing people to reply, and then deleting it? Granted, that's a contrived example, but it could happen.
I suggest that the need to *delete* a node is rare enough that making an appeal at Editor Requests will take care of it. If not, perhaps an automatic means to take care of the duplicate/blank nodes issue will present itself.
As for editing nodes after the fact, I see that some monks put an Update: heading followed by the new text. Works for me.