Hans Aberg writes:
 >   So it appears that what is needed is a document hierarchy:
 >   \documentclass{journal}       % Start of journal class
 >   \begin{document}
 >     \documentclass{article}     % Start of article 1 class
 >     \begin{document}
 >       %% Article 1 stuff
 >     \end{document}              % End of article 1 class
this has been suggested before now, and there have been attempts at
implementation by eg Matt Swift (see TUG 1995 proceedings),
and Robin Fairbairns for TUGboat. perhaps Robin could comment on
whether/if/why his work foundered?

i agree that its an interesting subject...