If that route is taken, I'd imagine that attachments would be disabled on the field as well, leaving it as a literal 'quick reply'. *shrugs* I'd be fine with either tbh, formatting in status updates always did strike me as odd, it's supposed to be a short sentence, "what's on your mind", not a book or even a post.
I would like to tack onto this, if I may. Please give the field types some control at the code level on how to perform the search in all apps. A 'getSearchWhere' if you will. If one goes outside the box even a little with a custom field type it becomes apparent there is no real support for doing searching against it, and no way to add that support(there... is a lot of hardcoded stuff in the search controller), which is why these are so limited in downloads as well, I would surmise.
No, it is not all there is to it. Why are the counts out of sync? Do you even know? Why would you turn down actual, official, human support from the company that makes the script, that actually will fix bugs for your site directly, when no other web software company actually offers such? Are you actually 'ok' with a bug remaining because you refuse to allow them to access your server? If it's about security, every staff member is under elaborate NDA. Nobody is going to steal your data, or do anything harmful to your site.
Then you are going to have a very tough time of it. When you bought the license, you got six months of support for free. I would strongly suggest you use it, there are many times an issue crops up that is dependent on one's exact server configuration to reproduce. They do not control the hardware. If you won't even let them log in to investigate, much less correct issues you complain about here, I'm not sure what to say. :/
Those tools provide endless versions with bugs people just ignore and use said tools to rectify. Proven fact throughout the 3.x line. Also, things like this being fixed as needed is one of the things you pay for support for. Further, I say 'simple query', but in reality, it could be anything from a simple query to a complex 'fix script' depending on the exact issue(there have been several in this topic). Trust me when I say, if it becomes an issue with support load, a script will be written and used on demand by staff, or a KB issued with a script to rectify that exact bug. IPS does know what they are doing with this move, like it or not.
Submit a ticket. That is the correct course of action. If there is a bug, it can be found and fixed. If not, it's easily enough resolved with a query. Providing tools within the software to allow people to avoid submitting a ticket to have the cause investigated is quite literally not on the table.
If it is beyond the scope of the software, why should the software account for it? No, I'd actually prefer there not be server-intensive tools available to hide bugs with. Problems with the server hardware/software that would result in such are quite exceedingly rare(as in, nonexistent.....), and a misbehaving plugin is very frankly not their problem.
Because comments would allow support to be garnered within them, as well as reduce the number of people that would actually post a review.. Support is not actually required, thus, neither is the support topic. Personally, I no longer provide it for small items that should not need support, though bugs will still be fixed. This is helpful in limiting the parade of being asked the same question over and over again when the mod in question is literally self-explanatory.
.... wait. What metric exactly would reputation be based on if NOT the quality of one's posts? While there are exceptions, generally speaking the Like button is used on helpful posts or posts that others agree with. No matter what you call it,"Like", "Karma" etc, in the end, it does serve the purpose and you are just changing out one button for another for no reason, changing it "just to", and might as well just change the language strings... I really and truly don't see the point of allowing a user to 'Like', 'Thanks', and/or 'Karma' a post. I've seen such sites where the admin thinks it is a good idea. It's cluttered and confusing and gives the end user too many ways to '+1' a post, resulting in confusion, inconsistent use, and as a result, the metric becomes truly pointless.
I'm not entirely sure why it would group the inline notifications but not the emails. Almost seems like a bug, but could be intended.... not sure. I can confirm I get the behavior you are asking for when such notifications are inline, not that such actually resolves your issue as it requires a site visit.
Are you ever NOT browsing the site? I could be mistaken, as I disabled email and have been using inline for quite some time, but it groups by content item for notifications when i haven't been online in the interim. That should extend to email, but I haven't tested it of late.
Personal Conversations are not the 1-1 structure you seem to think they are? That reply in the example above is still saved to the database, and participants can be added.... If one person blasts another in the pm with hate, and then leaves, the other user has the ability to add a moderator for it to be handled if needed this way.