acidic: It should be noted that just because the LR Catalog file is backed up does not mean the image files are backed up. Someone will undoubtedly confuse the two and will lose their image files as a result.
My biggest gripe with LR is that it lacks metadata import/export functionality. It would be nice to be able to export IPTC/EXIF data form a catalog (or subset of the catalog) as a .csv file, as well as import that data back in. Many image databases allow this, so I'm sure Adobe is more than capable of adding such a feature.
You can name/rename folders and image files to suit yourself. Then the folder's name will show up in Folders panel on the left and you can click on it to see the images in that folder. Is that sufficient?