Tim Bray notes that buffering is good, in his own inimitable, humourous style. I feel his pain though. I remember wincing when I read about the improvements to 4.2BSD some years ago to stop doing single character reads and writes in libc. It sped the system up enormously and made for some very happy users.
Incidentally, I’m not old enough to remember 4.2BSD. I just read the paper a few years back.