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the array type mess....

re: I believe that an implementation is not allowed to upgrade all array types
    arbitrarily;  . . .
Quite right -- since strings and bit-arrays are treated specially in so many
contexts, I frequently forget that are also subtypes of arrays.

re:                                             In other words, I'd like
    to see (typep (make-array n :element-type foo) foo) be true in all
    implementations, for all types foo.  
I'm sure you meant to say:
	(typep (make-array n :element-type '<foo>) 
	       '(array <foo>))

Yes, upgrading isn't the only way to optimize the important cases; although
I'd think a vendor would be under some compulsion to reveal just which
element types were "preferable".

-- JonL --