I forgot to state my original reason for raising this question:
> The _whole_ dilemma arised, if you remember, arose from the fact that
> we _want_ to use the dot in symbol names and numeric atoms, without
> needing to escape it. Without that, the dot would be a pure
> meta-character and everything would be simple.
My objection is that having dot as a meta-character makes things more
complicated;-) Any meta-character introduces special cases and increases
complexity I think.