> Not only will you not get every programmer and his dog to insert a gratuitous fsync in the write sequence, but doing so would actually be harmful to system performance.
fsync is not gratuitous. It is the D in ACID. As you mentioned yourself, rename requires only A form ACID - and that is exactly what you get.
But, Ted being a pragmatic man, reverted this to the old behaviour, simply because he knows there is a lot of broken software out there.
The fact that good applications that never lose data are already using the correct behaviour is case in point that this is how all applications should do it.
Performance implications of this approach are different than that of the old approach from ext3. In some cases ext4 will be faster. In others, it won't. But the main performance problem is bad applications that gratuitously write hundreds of small files to the file system. This is what is causing the real performance problem and should be fixed.
XFS received a lot of criticism, for what seem to be application problems. I wonder how many people lost files they were editing in emacs on that file system. I would venture a guess, not many.