Great topic Tedster! Some thoughts:
I've been to sites where they disabled this- and it was very confusing because the link looked like ordinary text (wasn't underlined, didn't have the associated "pointing hand", link reference couldn't be seen at the bottom) and yet if you clicked on the group of words, you were sent elsewhere. Can't think of why they chose to set it up this way.
Redundancy and consistency are both useful. Consistency is easier to follow and saves the viewer's time (if the overall functionality corresponds to some sort of standard). Redundancy that's (dare I say it) "respectful" of the user- isn't clutter and isn't annoying or overwhelming is extremely helpful to users. For example, replying to this post- Brett's set it up so we can reference a particular page's discussion which is helpful as an aid. There are further tools to the left of our message that open up new windows if we need a reminder about the style codes, posting guidelines, etc. In other forums, you'd have to leave the page, scroll down the page, lose sight of the thread, etc. just to access this info.
RCJordan- I'm particularly interested in your massive nav technique. I've worked for several large companies (including Fortune 500) where I've felt this worked against them and also made the page more challengine for SEO purposes. I could find the info I needed faster with any one of the following: simple nav, search tool, site map.