>wonder if we should change the default font encoding from OT1 to T1

NO.  Only at the next major upheaval of LaTeX.  And only with freely
available type-1 (Compter modernish) fonts with the T1 character set.

This change would create much more disruption than several minor
changes that have been rejected in the past, including a disruption
of installations, as opposed to just improved formatting.

Even for the cases where the change works as intended -- better
hyphenation -- it will change the formatting of documents.  I
personally prefer the best formatting at any stage, but you have
been holding the line strenuously against such changes.

Donald Arseneau                         [log in to unmask]