I am very happy that people are working on this. To those who say, this problem should be circumvented by configuring "the" machine differently I would like to describe my situation: I have usb hard disk on which I store my data to carry them around with me. I use this hard disk on various computers of whose existence I am often not previously aware and on which I certainly have nothing near to root access.
With vfat this was not a problem but of course it has the described shortcomings (most importantly the 4GB bound). So ideally I would like a filesystem "like vfat" with these shortcomings removed (I somehow think that a "light" filesystem is appropriate for removable drives).
In that spirit I also support the idea of an option to ext2 to "turn off" permissions. But really I am happy about any solution at all.