Hello everybody, hello Alex,
I think that you should stick to joomla 1.6 as it will be improved and will evolve anyway (so questions will be the same for next releases of joomla).
The way one can translate articles indepentely in J1.6 is good, the only things lacking are:
1/ A binding table between articles and/or menus
So, case 1: there isn't any correspondance, when changing languages you get the home page (as today with J1.6) or a default page.
case 2: there is a correspondance, you get the bound page.
2/ And, as I already talked about it, for big websites with domain names management, a new router plugin like the router pro you made for joomfish, with the possibililty to switch between domain names or sub-domains.
What do you all of you think about it?
i hope I'm understundable.