What about a thread display option that will show all of the comments in a threaded view instead of just one? That would be my default in an instant, and possibly keep the rambling conversations around here a bit more organized.
Most other forums only provide flatold view, with the most recent posts at the end of threads. Here at least you can also invert that. A threaded view with all posts expanded and properly indented will be difficult to combine with pagination. Currently threads, even with hundreds of posts like this, are shown on a single page but that becomes impractical when they are shown in full.
So I've put this on my to-investigate list, but don't know if and when it'll ever get done.