I am not attempting to define a comprehensive policy for the next generation in the opening post of this thread. A variety of directions are possible, including unrelated metagames being developed at the same time. I've even suggested this myself a year ago in #stark, and I'm quite supportive of it. It's not a core part of the opening post.
What I am advising against is particularly bad things that could be done, such as rushing to make decisions either before the game is released (which is a bad idea regardless of where you are coming from), or shortly after, or using paragraph submissions or mystic super top secret formulas, or using an elite council handpicked by two administrators, or those kind of things. Those things are all terrible (see the first post of this thread for details). You may say it's too early to discuss those things, but experience shows that failure to address these issues from the get go renders them impossible to change later on Smogon. So whichever direction we go with tiering, let's purge ourselves of some particularly bad ways to do it.
I don't agree these are surface issues. In fact, to use your term, they obscure the real issues. So getting them out of the way is necessary before we can discuss the details.