Minerva, your post was brilliant as always. (Ted, I agree with your post as well ... though on the subject of WH I must submit an official "no comment" for reasons I won't bother to go into).
You touched on many things I've felt myself about club culture and New York in general. It is definately true that, barring a few exceptions, historically big clubs don't draw the most interesting crowds, due primarily to the high cost of running a large space which in turn makes big club management far less discriminatory in terms of who gets in and who doesn't. Big clubs serve as entertainment for the masses, certainly. But the best of the big clubs always offered some salt of the earth and geniuses mixed in with the masses, and in theory could serve a kind of spectacle that is not really possible in smaller venues. My basic point about the return of big clubs was that the "big club experience" has always been an integral part of New York's nightlife, right alongside the smaller and medium-sized spaces where underground and cutting-edge movements happen, and that tradition deserves to continue. Back in the day New York was filled with tons of clubs of ALL sizes, both mainstream and underground, and every night the clubs were filled ... everybody went out and people from all over the world came here to go out. I had many great experiences at big clubs - Love Machine at the Palladium, the old Sound Factory (which later became Twilo), Club USA and Disco 2000 at Limelight, etc. The options were endless.
A variety of factors changed that. Guiliani's anti-club policies, which succeeded in closing many establishments while simultaneously scaring away nightlife tourists, was one factor. The 90s real estate/development explosion was another factor, transforming formerly industrial areas into residential neighborhoods. I always felt the AIDS crisis played a role as well, since a large number of the most imaginative, brilliant people who gave New York's scene its color and vibrancy died, leaving straight-laced, boring, normal people who lacked the same level of talent and creativity to carry on their places. Less measurable elements, like the Internet (which some argue make people less like to go out and socialize in general) are perhaps other factors.
And so, bit by bit, the big clubs became by and large extinct. And that is why I think it's a good thing big clubs are opening again, but it's a sign people are going out again in larger numbers.
BTW, I actually liked Twilo. It wasn't something I'd do frequently (I've always preferred the more intimate social interaction at smaller and medium-sized spaces), but once in a while was cool. The B&T there I felt was in general much friendlier to me than at other big places, hence the popularity of people like Amanda and Sophia. As for what happened to them, of course I think their firing was completely disgraceful and wrong and I fully support their lawsuit against the Twilo management. But club jobs have always been easy come-easy go for everyone involved and many people get unceremoniously dumped for equally stupid, insane reasons. Amanda and Sophia were also given 4 + years of employment before they were fired, which is a pretty good run. The club world is sleazy is precarious, which is good and bad at the same time.