The new post was just meant to summarize the problem statement, and propose a variation of an elegant solution people were advocating.
The use of the optional "Show mutual friends and my friends only, not friend-ofs" display mode does not mean we can't also do individual friend-of hiding via banning or otherwise. The point of the new post was just to explain that there were really two issues: the relationship confusion vs. the display confusion.
We're also thinking this option would be nice:
[ ] Hide inactive friend-ofs
So then people who list you as a friend and haven't used their account in any way for 6 months don't show up.
So the best solution is probably all three:
1) optional alternate display mode
2) optional hide inactive friend-ofs
3) banning users removes them (but if you have to do this often enough, option 1 might be best for you, with hiding friend-ofs)
So please relax... we're not imbeciles over here, and we don't actively ignore user comments for fun. There's a lot to read, and knee-jerk fixes won't fix anything... we want to understand the real problems and implement solutions that will actually work.
I'm going to go enjoy the weekend, but we'll all get on this all next week. None of the code to implement these are hard at all. (Corollary: offering code won't motivate us to bypass the design phase) It's design/policy that's hard, and all this lj_biz discussion has helped with that a ton. Thanks for all the constructive comments!