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>You also need to keep in mind that a significant part of research taking
>place today structurally is seismic related.  Ultimate strength plays a
>much more important role in this research (i.e. how much ductility/energy
>absorbtion can certain elements/connections with stand).
I wonder if this is part of the answer--the need to allow inelastic 
behavior as an energy absorption mechanism to resist collapse means 
incorporating limit analysis into structural design codes. Then simply 
extend this approach into other areas for the sake of uniformity, even 
though an energy absorption mechanism isn't required. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)