First of all, thank you very much for your kind words, I really do appreciate them! I am glad to hear you found the article of interest!
Mac OS X v. 10.4 Tiger, in its latest iterations, brings some flexibility to the process and actually allows users to keep computers turned off at night, without impairing the smooth running of maintenance tasks.
One can only speculate on the reasons why Apple did not reference maintenance in its manuals in the past. The main reasons that come to mind is that skipped maintenance tasks were highly unlikely to cause damage and that the thought of having to use a specific application or the terminal would have scared many users — but, again, that is only my limited view on the matter…
Thanks again for taking the time to post!