I appreciate this analysis of our current predicament. Karen's conclusion indicates that we'd benefit by focusing on "services we want the work to provide in the future" and I agree wholeheartedly.
From my perspective—at a public library where customer demand frequently prompts us to acquire a single popular title in five formats (print, large-type, ebook, cd-book, and eaudio)—one helpful service would be to synchronize series and subject access points. The same could apply to cast and crew for DVD and Blu-Ray versions of a single movie. In terms of Karen's outline, I see this as closing the gap between "work description" and "work entity" as much as possible.