Smart site uses dumb line length; help needed

Devout readers will recall my numerous bug reports about Typophile. Quite a few of them argued that Typophile should do what is known to work and not do what is known not to work. A great deal of knowledge about what works comes from MetaFilter, the community Weblog that is the model for such things. It’s more of a success than any remotely comparable site – 11 years old, 70,000 active users, a million pageviews a day; profitable; employs four people in tech development and moderation; moderated 24/7; includes the most important feature of all, MetaTalk, a forum to discuss MetaFilter itself.