The rc.inet1 and wireless scripts/config certainly have become somewhat convoluted over time as they've evolved and grown. IMO when the scripts become more difficult to understand and work with than the underlying network configuration cli utilities such as ifconfig and route, then it's time to re-evaluate.
Pat's a big believer in continuity though so that may limit what he may do. Personally, I'd be happy with the following in rc.M
# Initialize the networking hardware.
if [ -x /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.local ]; then
elif [ -x /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 ]; then
... to enable me to go my own way without patching distro shipped scripts. (rc.local is a bit too late in the game to be bring up network interfaces)