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What does LOAD use for read table & package?

You should not be so quick to say that the "-*-" shouldnt be used. It
may be ugly but experience has shown that it works very well. I know
of some common-lisp portable DEFSYSTEM/UNIX-MAKE-like programs that
first open the file and parse the "-*-" line and then bind
package,readtable, etc before calling the compiler and/or loader.
(And, similarily I have had to put code in the (LMI) lispmachine "-*-" parser
to scan the first part of a file to look for the idiomatic use of
IN-PACKAGE). Already I have had my fill of seeing the most grossly ad-hoc and
insufficient system-building programs in use by people that did at
least part of their program development work in the immature
non-Lispmachine environments and then have trouble dealing with the
more formal tools on the lispmachines. Does any emacs editor with
COMPILE-DEFUN really deal with multiple *package* SETQ's (In-Package)
throughout a file?

On the other hand, there are people with good portable system building tools,
(that they have put a significant amount of work into) and these people
wont be screwed by the lack of such things in the base CL.