Re: Slightly schizophrenic review (@Fuzz)
I think the QWERTY debate is still up for grabs. Even if the probably apocryphal story were true and the layout was invented so that English speakers were more likely to follow a key press somewhere on the left with one somewhere on the right (i.e. to avoid typewriter jamming) that just makes it well designed for two handed typing.
Recent academic literature, such as that cited at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1069950, has tended to conclude — as that does in its abstract — that:
"... we find virtually no evidence to support a view that QWERTY is inferior to DVORAK. Instead, using records of typing experiments, studies by ergonomicists, and examining the historical record of competition among different keyboard designs back when QWERTY first became dominant, we conclude that QWERTY is about as good a design as any alternative."
That article makes reference to contrary modern claims by Paul David and Brian Arthur but their article takes it as given that QWERTY is inferior so as to argue economic principles about the value of popularity. The link I've given is also to a citation for an economic piece, essentially making the point that the David/Arthur conclusion isn't justified by the evidence given because the basic assumption is false.