sending an email to the author of the blog - isn't this more or less equivalent to a letter of the editor, where it may or may not be selected for publication?
In theory. But aping the old conventions of print media isn't what makes blogs interesting, either.
I think it's unreasonable for you to expect a publisher like this to do anything in particular. If you don't like their words/product/whatever, stay away.
Of course-- and I probably shouldn't even have to say this-- people are free to run their own websites/blogs as they see fit. But I get the highest value from blogs where either A) the author's writing is so outstanding that the lack of comments isn't material (eg, Paul Graham, Joel Spolsky, etc) -or- B) a combination of good writing and good comments.
Preachers are almost always available in the narthex (lobby) right after the sermon. People with an opinion or question will often chat with him (or her) within minutes of their "initial post".
Yes, but that's not a public dialog which can engender discussion amongst all the participants; it's analogous to emailing the author.
you're arguing the definition of the word "blog"
Possibly. I have strong feelings about what makes blogs worthwhile, and what makes blogs unique. And comments play a very important role in that.
Blogs should allow anonymous comments
It's a question of how high you want the barrier to entry to be. Although I agree with you, I don't think registering is setting the barrier TOO high, and it's certainly preferable to no comments at all!