I think this is ready to commit if we clear one thing up. Look at the tests and you'll see that default sorting for dates is a special case. The sorting behavior for dates is, indeed, different from longs when sortMissingFirst/Last are not specified. The behavior is consistent with 3.3 (it was handy to test 3.3 rather than 3.4) however, so neither
LUCENE-3443 nor this patch change sorting in this case.
I'd like to commit this tomorrow (Sunday). Since the reconciliation process is a bit "interesting" between Mike's and my changes, I think that a patch for each is preferable, but we know I'm "merge challenged".
Note also that Mike, as part of 3441, made the parallel set of changes for 4.x already. That said, I'm going to create a small 4.x patch that changes the example schema.xml and incorporates the date test from this patch. I'll attach that file to