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    I agree with the conclusions Dick reached in the referenced
After several more discussions around here, I am willing to settle for
eliminating the use of the class-name "CLASS".  I would call the top of
the hierarchy called ESSENTIAL-CLASS, the one the user usually gets be
DEFAULT-CLASS, and have the appropriate use of STANDARD-TYPE-CLASS and
BUILT-IN-CLASS.  My reason is the pain of the circumlocution of the
phrase class CLASS, and the clearer meaning of saying that DEFAULT-CLASS
provides ...

    I only have one thing to add, which is to make sure that
    we don't lose sight of the original issue that brought this up
    (this time), which was to clarify the explanation of such things as
    which classes are not valid as superclasses in a DEFCLASS form. 
    This is less ethereal than writing programs that reason about the
    Lisp implementation, but not less important.

I have somehow lost sight of this issue.  Do you mean that
BUILT-IN-CLASS can never be a superclass of anything not a
BUILT-IN-CLASS?  Namely BUILT-IN-CLASS is reserved for the implementer.
Is that the only restriction you have in mind?