Thanks, Larry, for your cogent of what a hypothesis is and is not. 
However, I don't quite follow you at one point.

> Moreover, in the light of the large amount of recent major studies on Q,
> there is not a single Q hypothesis, but several variations, so it would be
> difficult to claim much more than SOME KIND of Q hypothesis, or a bundle
> of Q-type hypotheses appear to dominate in Synoptic studies.

I don't see that the recent studies on Q have differed that much about
the basic Q hypothesis.  There is wide divergence in opinions on the literary
genre of Q, the social setting in which it was composed, and such
things.  But is there wide divergence on which pericopae were in Q? 
Isn't the divergence in Q studies similar to divergence in literary
analysis of, e.g., the Pauline corpus?  What rhetorical category does
Galatians fall into anyway?  It seems to me that variety in recent Q
analyses does not show a weakness in the Q hypothesis, but is instead
an indication that the hypothesis is bearing fruit.

> The aggressively marketed hypothetical "spinoff" views (e.g., that
> Q was a "gospel" of a particular "community" with its own "social
> history", its own "kerygma" in which Jesus was merely a prophet-sage and
> his death and resurrection relatively inconsequential), all these things
> understandably cause some disturbance among some because of the sometimes
> arrogant way these views are put across.  Among me and the crowd I drink
> with at the SBL (a surprisingly wide cross-section of constituencies
> represented), the response is one of amusement at the arrogance, and we
> have reservations based on other data that we think are not adequately
> addressed.  

That is interesting, since my impression is that those who are
proposing those "spinoff" views are frustrated at the arrogance of
those who sit back and pooh-pooh their ideas without taking them
seriously or offering better counter-proposals. :-)

Stan Anderson
The Claremont Graduate School
Institute for Antiquity and Christianity