That all sounds really good in theory, I mean I agree with empowering users to use the browser in a fashion that best suits there needs. However I also think that reducing the number of clicks and establishing a clear sense of place when browsing are important parts of a good UX as well. I think the sense of being in a distinct "place" gets really watered down into this sort of amorphous shifting netherworld when by default external links wipe out the original page. As much as overwhelming numbers of tabs can be annoying too, what it does succeed at is giving some sense of boundaries between distinct pages. That gets lost when one external website loads one on top of the other.
Personally, I don't consider myself to be "
stupid/ignorant/stubborn/lazy" and I do know how to select the link and choose to load a page in a new tab; it's just annoying to have to do it when just about every website I ever visit sets external tabs to load in a new tab by default. .....I guess that puts me in the other camp :o