Mark, a pleasure to have your input here; nobody's better suited to highlight the finer points of collodion than you!
Well then, how do they work? I always got the impression that if your wet-plate dried, you were up a creek. So what's different about collodion-emulsions? It seems that the silver-salt being inside the collodion would make these even worse, but obviously I'm missing something..
Isn't it also true that collodion emulsions were used up until fairly recently for certain uses? I've seen a mordern, yellow Kodak box labeled 'Collodion' that appeared to be from the 60s/70s. Maybe for certain industrial process, photo-reproduction, or copy work?