>     Come to think about that, how about only one head area and do
>     everything else (e.g., n-number of head sub-areas, foot areas,
>     side areas) via zero-sized pictures?

For what it's worth, I have long been an advocate for this
interference-free `zero-size' method of doing all the page make-up
(but of course with a more specialised and suitable interface
than the multi-purpose picture environment).