Good blog but what do you mean by "social contracts to avoid common sense and courtesy"?
I have most of those games, and we'll be playing two of them this winter. Look for them on Ebay, most are about 20 for the box set, etc.
I and some old school friends just started work on a Strombringer 2 adventure (not D20!)... so yea, i know the feeling! I'd say yes if i was near, but it sounds like i'm gonna get my own fix in soon.
I would love to. Any chance you would commute to Miami, FL to GM?
I have done this for Battletech and it works out very well but have not been able to do it for D&D.
Perhaps something you might try is a combination game where you use something like Skype to setup a conference call and also use an online dice roller. That way it is voice and you wouldn't have to type everything out.
You know, I used to like static initiative, when I first started playing. The I liked rerolling every round. But once I discovered fluid initiative, where your actions determine your bonus or penalty to initiative for next round, everything else pales in comparison.