I'm sorry for mentioning OS X again, as it inflames the "but, but but" comments. I had just meant that if e.g. xcode was doing unnecessary fsyncs I'd be completely out of luck (as opposed to having to jump through some hoops as I did last night), and in fact back in my Windows days I was so accustomed to being out of luck that it didn't occur to me that I potentially don't have to deal with software I can't fix.
But between your comments and a night of reflection, I realized that surely LD_PRELOAD hacks could've fixed this problem, surely for other problems there's some shareware to add another pref panel to fix it available through VersionTracker, surely in general user testing would've made sure I'd never have a complaint about their software in the first place, and finally in any case I could always fall back on fink and gentoo everything myself, etc. And if that works for you, great.
I will try to refrain in the future. I honestly hate these discussions. I was just trying to proclaim how happy I was that I'd seen a problem and fixed it. (The secondary goal is to make an LJ post that had the appropriate keywords so others will be able to make use of what I found. (Though as I look now it appears I may not have enough Google-juice to be useful.))