Some folks at Berkeley tried an abortive attempt at a related idea, called log-structured filesystems, and it similarly had the requirement for the filesystem to be periodically groomed using a "log cleaner" in order to repack and reoptimize the filesystem. For small benchmarks where the log cleaner doesn't need to be run during the duration of the test, the results can look much better than under real-world use, where the cost of the log cleaner has to be included overhead of the filesystem.
The benchmark I would suggest be tried against reiser4 is compiling a kernel tree from scratch. If you have to tar and untar the kernel under reiser4 first, that's fine. But then unmount and remount the filesystem (so none of the source files are in the page cache), and then try to do kernel compile. My guess is that the results would be extremely enlightening --- and this would certainly be a fair and representative use scenario which every kernel developer would be familiar with, and indeed use every day.
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