for galathaea:
The only thing that warrants an apology was the "big-boy" comment. While that expresses my opinion of this as childish, it doesn't belong in adult conversation. The rest were responses to what Paul had said. And I feel he has been far more demeaning to every response against STL in this thread, long before I responded. That's why I use the quotes surprisingly.

for mclark:
Brief response, I agree with 90% of what your saying.

The standard says nothing at all about virtual tables
Yes and no. Check the limitations in the standard.

The C++ Standard is not about how you code things
Again, Yes and no. ANSI is simply a request to make life easier for other programmers. While it doesn't tell you how to code, it does ask you to code your compiler to be nice to others.

I don't know if Stroustrup would agree that the purpose of C++ is simply OO programming
I'm sure he would say, the C++ is an OO approach to C. I suppose I can only guess at that, but the main construct of a C++ compiler is to turn C in to an encapsulated system. But honestly, it's about turnning programming back into a profession.

I freely admit that I've never been a junior college professor
Nothing wrong with that. Its a great place to do part time teaching while you work on other projects. Most students are adults looking for a trade which made it better then teaching kids.
But I've done C and C++ and AC++ for fun while taking a project break.

It would seem that these limitations are with the implementations you've used and are not inherent to STL as a definition
This I disagree with. I have actually expanded template parsing to weed out some of the limitations. STL on the other hand, is nothing but limitation. I think the fact that an object requires external functions to operate on itself is a horrible concept and very poor design.

And there you have it. Once again engineering digresses into religion.
sad, but I think its getting that way.

As for STL. Use it if you want. Again, you will find with experience that its use will open a door for very poor design. We see poor design every day in a multitude of programs hitting shelves. Programs that only run on developer machines and no where else, to name one. These things will only be learned through experience in language and programming industries.
And since I can't argue your future experience, I'm not going to try.