>        Here's a C++ example to try:
...
>        Compile this with full optimization and look at the generated code!

This is not a good example, since there are no variables. So compiling
the c++ code results in:

        main:
                pushl %ebp
                movl %esp,%ebp
                pushl $720                      <--
                pushl $cout                     <--
                call __ls__7ostreamUl           <--
                addl $8,%esp
                pushl %eax
                call endl__FR7ostream
                movl $1,%eax
                movl %ebp,%esp
                popl %ebp
                ret
        .Lfe1:
                .size    main,.Lfe1-main
                .ident  "GCC: (GNU) 2.7.2.1"

Which says more about gcc's optimizer than about the templates... :-)

Jerry.