Here is the reply that I got from Peter Reinhart. It sets his objectives straight and gives us something new to thing about.
Very interesting indeed.
"What a great discussion! Thanks Randy for bringing up some of the confusions in my instructions, and thanks Pete for counting the revs. That was enlightening to me. On my KA the slowest speed (stir?)seems sufficient until the very end, when I usually kick it up one or two speeds to complete the gluten development. The long autolyse, as Pete pointed out, should make it possible for the dough to finish its development with very little additional mixing, regardless of speed. I actually prefer doing it by hand, using the wet hands method to prevent sticking, and it takes about 60 seconds to finish the job. The overnight development additionally strengthens the dough structure. The whole point was to get appropriate gluten development without overmixing the dough, to achieve a slightly organized gluten network but not a highly organized network (which would be more appropriate for soft, enriched doughs like brioche, or sandwich bread). The less organized network yields larger, irregular ciabatta-like holes rather than small, regular holes. The mixing methods employed in this book are definitely a result of my own evolution and experimentation in which I've tried to apply what I've learned since the previous books, especially about the value of shorter mixing cycles, long autolyses and fermentations, and the value of less rather than more gluten organization. Pizza doughs, with their relation to rustic doughs like ciabatta and pugliese, seem to be the perfect vehicles through which to apply these ideas, as I think some of you are finding. Sorry about the vagueness or lack of clarity of some of the instructions. I would love to have had the benefit of all this give and take before going to press. The particular issue raised by Randy wasn't brought up by any of the testers (we had over 100), so I thought I was home free, but as you can see, the serious commitment and passion of the Baking Circle is not to be taken lightly. I truly appreciate all your comments and suggestions. Peter R."