g1smd - 7:05 am on Mar 15, 2010 (gmt 0)
It's not a simple as a browser redirecting, because a browser simply takes you there and if the redirects change between your visits it doesn't really matter
In your example (where clicking a link on page A redirected you to URL B then to C and then to D), if URL B was changed to redirect to F, from that time on clicking the link on A would take you to page F (via URL B). However if, later on, the redirect status of URL C or D was changed, the browser would never know that. The question is, do bots revisit the 'intermediate' URLs in a chain after the head of a chain is altered to redirect someplace else?
But similar to crobb305 and g1smd, I had incoming external links (valid ones from other websites) pointing to /index.html.
No. WebmasterTools said there were incoming external links pointing to /index.html but on inspection the links were found to be pointing to / instead. In any case I always install a redirect rule that redirects a selection of common index page names to root to 'catch' incoming linking errors. That rule was quickly added to this site, and we'll see how long it takes for WebmasterTools to start reporting the correct linking.