Expanding on the "following long threads" and "identifying posts by user" theme, consider the following.
Imagine clicking into a thread. Make it a long one. And imagine, by glancing at the Who's Talking list, seeing that one of your favorite posters is participating in this thread.
Now imagine clicking on that user's name in the Who's Talking list and voila! All posts in that thread by that user remain expanded, while all others collapse.
Would this not be a powerful tool enabling us to "chew" through some of these long threads without missing kew chowtips by our favorite posters?
Also, how about a number in parentheses next to each name in the Who's Talking list representing the number of posts by that user in the current thread? That would help too.
What do you think?