My, this is becoming an interesting and rather protracted discussion. Thanks again, Mark, for starting it.
BZ and Liz, I think the main point of our disagreement is in the display of information rather than the access to it. For example, I use DevonThink every single day, and it has a feature called Database Properties. Click on it and you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about that particular database--twelve different summaries actually--such as number of words, number of HTML pages, and so on. So, if I wanted to know how many pimples there are on the grand butt of my database, I would simply click on that, look at it and say, "Oh, how nice!"
And, to your point, Liz, on word, paragraph and sentence count, most of the better writing programs that I am aware of--and I do not include MS Word in that category--provide access to that information either on a constant basis by preference or when selected, but they are not constantly staring you in the face. And even in Word, while I grant you that word count appears at the bottom of the page (e.g. 12/155), paragraph and sentence count are only available when Word Count is selected in the Tools menu. (Maybe they are at the bottom of the page, but I've never seen them.)
So, when BZ says that he wants to be able to look down at any moment and see a running count of all of his tasks and all of his projects, fine. I don't. Therefore, it seems to me that the best way to satisfy both would be the option to turn such a feature on or off, or to have it accessible like DevonThink. Come to think of it, perhaps that option should apply also to the inbox item count (the actual start of this thread); some would want it, some wouldn't.
One last point: With OF, didn't Omni set out to design an app based on key GTD principles? If so, then let's not be so quick to dismiss those principles out of hand, especially one as basic as staying focused like a laser on your next action steps (do this and your projects will take care of themselves). It seems to me that to stray too far afield from those basic tenets would be in keeping with designing some other project management program, but not one modeled after GTD.