I had my settings set similarly to Ken Rockwell's recommendations; I arrived at them independently of him and didn't know about his (KR's) until your post got me to check. I had that set of settings saved in U1, and have softened it for U2, which is also my HDR setup. I'll use both the U settings for exterior shots in daylight, which is 90% of my shooting, and start with the default for everything else.
Ken's column today talks about the fact that he's a film shooter, which I was until about 2003, and that his tastes were formed with film. Mine were,too, and I produced my own photos in B%W until the early 90's. Contrast was hard to control, and even with variable contrast paper, it required many a redo of important prints to get it right. I tend to shoot contrastier than I want to see in the final, and KR's settings indicate his preference for the same.
We trained our eye (mental) to see darks blocking up with film, now the whites block up with digital. This makes us expose and develop differently between the two media, with overexposure of film, and underexposure of digital.
I'm not defending KR (he has proved himself capable of that), but I think that a reminder of the chemical ooze from which we emerged is in order. It's not that old habits die hard, it's that they never die.