Cool! The defaults command is fine for me - thanks. Will it show up in a beta?
Regarding VBR vs CBR - understood, it's a tricky issue. Many of my albums were ripped from CDs back in the day of iTunes 1-4 and that encoder just wasn't very good at all. 224 on that sounds like doodoo, and Lame VBR with an average of 160 sounds so much better.
Coming up with an interface would be difficult though, I certainly recognize.
I think the "scientific data" is only in theory - it doesn't take into account at all the differences in encoders, and the history of having lots of crappy encoders (and mp3s made from them).
In any case, a different solution would be to allow whole albums to be grouped. Case: I had two duplicate albums - one album in VBR and one in CBR. I'd prefer to keep one single album together as a group, since I can see the lineage (one was Lame and one was iTunes). If we had an interface to say "this album wins" then it'd take care of this issue, at least from my standpoint. I don't really care about the VBR vs CBR on a single track basis, and would prefer just to leave it up to the sarge.