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Great article, Mark. Some of the biggest challenges I’ve experienced involve just what you mention, not only typefaces that differ in height with regard to fallbacks, but typefaces that differ in width like condensed faces. When using these, I generally set the type size a big larger than normal, which means the fallbacks are way too big.
In addition, I think this is going to be an issue that we are dealing with for quite a bit of time. Until download speeds get drastically faster, or file sizes get drastically small (WOFF being a good contender to help this), we will really need to lean heavily on installed fallbacks for extended character sets or language translations.