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> Further experimentation suggests that next is having trouble 
> even when the table isn't weak. Is it possible that Lua 5.1 
> does not like code that assigns nil to table entries while 
> iterating over the table and doing complex work? That work 
> shouldn't include any other changes to the table but it might 
> include work that drives the GC forward.

I haven't looked closely at the Lua 5.1 code, but I did run into a very
similar thing when doing the reference counting for LuaRC and LuaPlus.  The
following post describes the issue in detail:

If it isn't the same issue, I apologize for wasting everybody's time.