Finally, I would be less likely to subscribe to a NYT pay-per-article account than I would to a service that let me pay-per-article across a number of outlets.
Well, on this point we can actually agree. While I believe in certain institutions (NYT happens to be one), I would certainly like to see a media consortium that allows one to have access to multiple platforms. For example if something interesting comes up from a paper in Boise, I'm not going to pay them a month's worth of money for one thing, but they still deserve to get compensated for their writing. What to do in that case? A broad media consortium could be an interesting alternative. However, a behemoth like NYT or WSJ might be insulated from such a group.