I don't want to see (isa x 'cons) or (isa x 'sym) either
Totally with you there.
I don't want to get too hung up on 'purity'. It's ok to use tables in the core if you need them for defgeneric or something. It's ok to have a few isas early on. iso is defined as a non-generic bootstrap version in anarki before eventually being overridden, so stuff like that seems fine to me. I just want to move past the bootstrap process as quickly as possible.
iso is defined as a non-generic bootstrap version in anarki before eventually being overridden
Sure, that's an okay way to go about it. ^_^ Since I'm doing the Penknife core library stuff from the top down right now, I'm just writing things the way I want to write them, trying to determine what axioms I need before the core library is loaded. If the high-level axioms are defined in another lower-level library, that's just fine, but I don't know why I'd bother with that when I can just put them in the Arc part of the core. :-p