Elliot: glad you found the Sue essay interesting. Years of exposure to bad fiction will make anyone bitter.
Anything like that is always very useful to a writer, IMO. It's just as important that we know what not
to do as it is that we know what to
Your 'rant' against Mary Sue characters is a very well reasoned attempt to kill the breed, which cannot be a bad thing.
I'm all for strong female characters (As anyone who has read my stories will know) but there is a huge gulf between a well thought out heroine (Or hero for that matter) and a Mary Sue.