TheMadScientist - 10:43 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
Sometimes I feel like tedster's alter-ego... LOL :)
I strip all query_strings, not in an effort to retain any inbound link weight, but rather to make sure visitors who happen to click on a link somehow get the information they were looking for and also for security purposes. If I did not do it this way, I would probably personally go with the canonical link relationship on the pages with the query string. I would probably NOT serve a 404 (or a 410), because I try my best to get visitors to what they were looking for and don't like the idea of even one visitor thinking MY site is broken or not working as it should because SOMEONE ELSE did something...
IMO it's fairly easy to create a bad experience for some visitors in the name of search engine rankings, but for me even one unnecessary bad experience for a visitor is something I try to avoid, so sometimes I throw caution to the wind and take people to the right page... It's also much easier for them to get back there again if they don't have some goofy query_string on the URL they found containing the information, so I live on the edge and don't allow query_strings on any of my current sites.