tedster - 8:34 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
My apology, I read too fast and didn;t grasp the whole situation.
I agree with the other replies - do not redirect all requests to the home page, but rather to the same filepath with the "www" added to the hostname.
I don't think this error is inherent in Joomla, at least not from my experience. It's good you noticed it. There's lots of discussion in our Apache Forum [webmasterworld.com] about the correct way to create a better 301 redirect using .htaccess