What is the general consensus on this? Should we build this feature in as Ted Zlatanov has requested or should we simply continue the development of the package I have started that implements this feature and perhaps make it available on ELPA?
I fully understand the reasoning behind this request. What Ted wants is to be able to download a .el file from the Internet, place it into a given directory, and not have to do anything else to make it just work. He wants an alternative to changing his .emacs file, either manually or through an automated mechanism, that is simpler to use than the Emacs package mechanism.
The user-load-dir.el file I have provided accomplishes this task. I am more than willing to continue developing it into an Emacs package (I just have not read the documentation yet so I know little more about the Emacs package mechanism than it exists).
I know that providing this functionality as an Emacs package does not do precisely what Ted wants because it does not make it "just work" in a clean Emacs installation, which I think is what he was really hoping for. But it does make it possible to make Emacs behave as he has requested after installing a single Emacs package, which is the next best thing.
If we go forward with providing this feature as an Emacs Package, I will need to either get permission from Evans Winner to include his load-dir function or write an implementation of it myself.