I'm a little disappointed that the only staff response doesn't allow us to respond to it... :(
So, I'll just say a few words here.
It seems like the staff is firm on infinite scrolling, and I'm fine with it being the default of themes. However, not allowing an opt-out function seems as if they are forcing it on us. In fact, matt's whole response seems to be telling us that they know what's best for our blog, what we should like, and what matters to us (stats).
" People don't come to the forums to say they like something they usually come when they have a problem. That's why we ask for feedback on the forums, to find the problems, not to gauge popularity. For that we've learned to look at stats, what people do versus what they say."
I think they forget that some people don't blog only for stats. Many bloggers on the free wordpress are not big time bloggers who would trade personal tastes in site design for efficiency and incremental stat increase. A lot of us treat our blogs as personal extensions of ourselves, and we often want to control what we look like, even if it might not be the thing that most attracts the attentions of new and unknown visitors. We might blog for a specific audience (our families and friends) who are used to the look we already have. We may also be blogging for the grandparents who have terrible internet connection. Stats are not everything...
With that said, I do trust WordPress that this is a good feature. Still, I'd really hope for an opt-out, since my primary reason for using Twenty-Ten theme was that I have a lot of site info I want to display on the front page, but not clutter up the sidebar; hence, the footer widgets are quite important.
Or if there's a way to make both somehow compatible, so that this feature doesn't completely make another different, but good feature obsolete... That would be nice as well.