I didn't see Harley's post until just now, thus the reason I have not responded. I do not argue the fact that faders have a logarithmic taper. However, I do argue that signal to noise ration is important in live sound, just as it is in a recording studio. If you have to keep all your channel faders down because of volume issues then pull down your master. If you have that one oddball channel that needs to be low in the mix (maybe a screaming guitar) then subgroup it or use a VCA. That way you can group all your guitars, keep them all in an anal retentive line (just kidding with you), pull down the group master, and ride the faders for solos, etc.
But if only one fader is raised slightly and your gain structure is set correctly then it probably means that the instrument is too loud anyway. Kill it in the mix and bring the overall volume down or do what I suggested above. You are implying that gain structure isn't critical for live sound, and I am telling you that I, along with at least 70% of the professional live engineers, think you're wrong. There has been a big discussion on the ProSoundWeb.com forum. Check it out: http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/inde...t/19555/16685/