> The easiest way out of this mess might simply be to enforce exclusive modification to the underlying filesystems on a local level, same as the union mount strategy. For NFS and other remote filesystems we either
> a) add some way to enforce it,
> b) live with the consequences if not enforced on the system level, or
> c) disallow them to be part of the union.
d) provide the system administrator -- who *knows* the expected semantics of a given mount -- with a *knob* to select which behavior s/he expects from that particular mount, with a reasonable default.
It's the *default* which must be decided on, not the behavior.