In his article on the Apple Adjustable Keyboard (TidBITS-166), Joe Clark commented that the keyboard product manager claimed that Apple's tests showed that no one uses the delete forward key. Fabrizio Oddone had a few comments on that topic:
It is true that few people use the delete forward key, but that is because the System Software doesn't support it. Normal people use key combinations when they are consistent. You probably use the command-Q key combination to quit applications. Would you use this combination if only one tenth of your applications supported it? Would you use the undo/cut/copy/paste key combinations if every application sported a different layout? The Mac has been successful in great part due to its consistency, and only some applications support the delete forward key.
If you use an extended keyboard, you will probably find my free Forward Delete extension useful since it enables the key in applications that use Apple's TextEdit routines. It is stored for at <sumex-aim.stanford.edu> as:info-mac/ex/forward-delete-10d2.hqx
[I haven't yet tried Forward Delete. Instead, I've been using Steve Stockman's DEL Key Control panel, which achieves the same thing most of the time by translating delete forward keystrokes into a right-arrow and backspace combination. -Adam]
Fabrizio Oddone -- Fabrizio.Oddonefirstname.lastname@example.org