I hoped somebody would manage to do this already, so I’ll blog it to keep the idea out there.
As far as I know, the Nautilus maintainers would be happy to show folder contents inside spatial Nautilus windows, like the old Mac Finder in this screenshot. This would solve the many-windows problem (even with the undiscoverable shift-and-open feature) without breaking Nautilus (*cough*Ubuntu*cough*). It just needs somebody to implement it.
I am also getting a lot of empty comments that are crashing pyblosxom on this blog entry. I’m not sure what that’s about yet – I upgraded pyblosxom from 1.1 to 1.2 yesterday. I will try to remove them when I notice it happening.