On the contrary, it's already been done everywhere else on the site. The Monastery Gates
shows the number of replies along with each message, as does each individual section. Recursive replies wouldn't need to be counted, only top level. I only suggest adding that functionality to the Newest Nodes page.
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Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags. Currently these include the following:
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Want more info? How to link
or How to display code and escape characters
are good places to start.