>>(I just wish Google would not penalize longer pages-- it is not logical at all. Logic should dictate that longer pages should have more content-- correct?)<<
This is only conjecture on my part, but I believe that google favors smaller files to accomodate their need (obsession) for a speedy google experience.
Delivering a set of serps very rapidly (which they do) can be offset by sending the searcher to slow loading pages (which they don't) and would thereby detract from the whole speed perception that google is good at providing.
I've been raising the volume on the smaller pages are better theory for some time. I did a serious test in December. Site is a pr7 site with good content and good linkage (listed everywhere):
Pre Changes: 27k average on 215pgs of content. 160 solid content, 50-70 fluff. Google Referrals per day Nov: 650 avg (phrases pulling referrals: 235 avg)
In early Dec, I cut the template size and cut the content per page to reduce page size down to 7k-14k where ever possible: Jan 7-Jan 18: Google Referrals per day Nov: 1350 avg (phrases pulling referrals: 420 avg)
No other major changes at the site between early Nov and the last update.
It was very difficult to cut the fresh content down, but older content didn't bother me so much. It was in that older content where I've seen the most referrals increase. Rankings themselves don't mean a great deal to me in the context of Google.