> as delimiters in order to avoid the special treatment of spaces after
> commands. ("It's really easy to forget to put in something like \
> after a control word. I promise you that you will do it at least once
> while you're learning to use TeX." Doob: A Gentle Introduction to TeX)

Agreed. And I promise you that you will do it now and then
even if you are an experienced user. In a class I've written
recently intended for new users, I added a \charname{name}
to avoid this problem (ie, \charname{bullet} = {\textbullet}).
I would note that &LaTeX; is not very readable and that
<LaTeX/> is somewhat clumsy (XML does not allows <LaTeX>,
which would be the most readable option).

This is one of the interesting points of your proposal
(which has some weak points, too). Let me say that your
last e-mail is far more interesting than
syntax.pdf because it explains the reasons of the
syntax. If we become Tcl'ish with these [ ] is not, imo,
the relevant point, but the motivations and some of
the proposals (from a conceptual point of view).