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> Imagine you want to build a tree datastructure where you can store an
> arbitrary Lua value per node. How does one accomplish such a goal
> without instanciating a bunch of tables in the process?

What is the problem with a bunch of tables?
> Wouldn't a simple, fixed size, integer indexable (1 based, of course
> ;-) ), array type be better suited for the role of building block?

If you want Fortran, you know where to find it... :-)
Plus Lua does very well on these arrays already...