It would be nice to keep the blk*.dat files small as long as we can.
The eventual solution will be to not care how big it gets.
But for now, while it's still small, it's nice to keep it small so new users can get going faster. When I eventually implement client-only mode, that won't matter much anymore.
There's more work to do on transaction fees. In the event of a flood, you would still be able to jump the queue and get your transactions into the next block by paying a 0.01 transaction fee. However, I haven't had time yet to add that option to the UI.
Scale or not, the test network will react in the same ways, but with much less wasted bandwidth and annoyance.