> 1.  clients can be written to use both metaservers and merge the
> results,
> (the COW code on Linux does that with my UDP metaserver query mode,
> added in 1999, which still hasn't hit the Windows client code base ...
> I'm sure the current Windows clients can follow the trend),
In the works. :)

> 2.  servers now respond to metaserver queries, and clients can be
> configured to query them directly,
> (again, code contributed by me, this time in February 2006, currently in
> COW on Linux and the Vanilla source),

> 3.  players can learn how to avoid the restrictions, especially with
> enthusiasts begging them on continuum to learn how to type "netrek -h
> something", and spamming the message board with pro-sturgeon political
> statements, or advertisements for clients,
They can, but it puts extra burden on the user to find the game they want.
Netrekrc editting is not user friendly, so it's certain an uphill climb.

> 4.  in the same way that players know to circumvent bans by changing IP
> addresses, server owners know very well that they could change their
> hostname or IP address to circumvent the policy.  (I was actually
> encouraged by some to turn off the UDP solicit mode, te he).
Well you are actively admining, so any attempt to circumvent getting put
on the "spare" list would just wind that server up on the list again.
Shouldn't be a cat/mouse game between server admin and metaserver.  We
should be on the same team.  Putting up obstacles just serves to fragment
the community, I believe.  Over 50% of client connects to warped were from
my client, so I feel long term a large portion of players will have a
client that lists warped on the metaserver.  But having half the players
with 1 list of all servers, and the other half with a smaller list, could
create a situation where both bronco and bot/ship mod servers do ok..or it
could lead to an increase in players on both, or a decrase on both.  I really
can't predict.  But it will become a reality if the metaservers list
differently, and the future windows clients go from a 1 metaserver listing
to a composite listing.