Guys, thank you for all your replies so far! They've been a valuable input and quite a few interesting insights. IncrediBILL, your .htaccess rules are a thing of beauty, I'll use this one as prescribed as well as in a slightly different version to deal with unwanted indexing of my gzipped stimeaps (unrelated to this topic).
I cannot help it however but notice that noone actually talks about the supposedly new approach MC had suggested back in 2011. All of the types of Google-polling or Google-pinging that we've discussed here so far are tried and true WMT-centered "traditional" pings, and as far as I can tell, all of the techniques mentioned in this thread are based on just making Google aware of a new URL recently created on the site. "Here is a new URL - go fetch its content so you can index it later".
The way I understood what MC (and later tedster here) were talking about is "pushing" the actual content to Google and (this is completely my conjecture) I understood that in case of a "fat ping" the URL would then become secondary or at the very least not as important as the content itself. The content gets recorded with a data stamp and later copies of this same content would be checked against that data stamp to figure out the actual originator of the content.
I still have a feeling that these "fat pings" are either the best kept Google secret weapon for fighting duplicate content or yet another smoke screen. Or perhaps one of many MCs proclamations that sound like "it works like this" but in reality mean "we wish it worked like this" or "if we can get a human to look at it, it will work like this".
Is there anybody out there who has ever tried what MC calls "fat pings" to Google and lived to tell the tale?