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I'd put this way: 

Pro:  One less subject for long flamey threads on this list

Con:  language becomes more complex, harder to learn, and less concise:
      additional mechanisms will be needed to cover for the lack of
      nil, because simply relying on errors being raised for all these
      cases is not going to fly

Con:  more annoying to program in:  nil-checking is typically very
      concise; while alternate mechanisms can be added instead, they
      make the language more complex and/or inefficient

Con:  less efficient: using errors to replace nil-checking in many
      circumstances mean that more error-handling wrappers [pcall etc]
      will be needed, which is almost always less efficient, and results
      in harder to read code

Such changes might actually be the right thing in another language, but
I think they don't fit Lua at all, which has simplicity-of-use and
conciseness as a major goal...


Fast, small, soon; pick any 2.