I've been rapidly closing the gap between where Tapestry 5 is and where it needs to be for a stable release.
Today I added in index pages; literally, pages named Index.
In the past, you could create a Start page and it would be used for any request that just specified the servlet context but didn't identify a specific page. That was great ... at the top level. It's also supported for backwards compatibility (even I am not that cruel).
However, the preferred method is to call that page Index. Further, you can place Index pages in subfolders as well. Tapestry can reference such a page using just the folder name.
That's great so far, but nobody wants to have a bunch of classes with the same name, even in different folders. No problem; the standard "name stripping" occurs. Thus, you might have an ecommerce application and three pages : com.myco.pages.order.OrderIndex, com.myco.pages.order.OrderVerify and com.myco.pages.order.OrderSubmit. The names of these three pages will be "order/Index", "order/Submit" and "order/Verify" (the redundant parts are stripped out). Lastly, Tapestry will create URLs of the form ".../context/order", ".../context/order/submit" and ".../context/order/verify".
In other words, short, sensible URLs and no compromises in your code. And, as always, any extra path info beyond the page name is treated as page activation context, made available to the page via the "activate" event handler method.
I'm very happy with this change; I also think Tapestry's built-in rules for URLs are really strong and appealing; I simply don't see customizing the built-in rules to be a priority, or frankly, of any great value.