BtB, as always you are chock full of good, useful information. My training for most of the past year has been a 4-day upper/lower split of some type that always starts out with one of the "big 4" compounds or some variant of it. It works for me, and I'm loving the strength gains I'm getting.
And I know exactly what you mean by "90% of the gym rats". There are a mere handful of guys in my gym who will ever do a squat (much less a correct squat), and even less who do deadlifts, and even less who will do a standing press (push press or military press). The majority of them just want to do chest and arms all day long.