Habfreak: lots of good comments. The underlying idea is, mods deal with all new thread openings in this case. In perfect world, I will go for that. But in current context, I think that will be difficult to maintain. It not only depends on the intention of mods to help, but also on members who really care to follow this.
I do feel the pain. And that's why, I think we should always make use of the "Report post" button for the opening post of the threads to give an indication to the mods/admins which thread that particular thread can be merged with.
I understand that a little bit of strictness is necessary to end thus overwhelming number of threads. But we also don't want to make it too strict, do we?
Just my 2 cents.