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> [...] 
> So: I understand what is happening, and why it happens... but is there
> a workaround? Is it possible to replace the :C():Cg"c" in
>   pabc  = (P"(%" * pa * pb * P")"):C():Cg"c":Ct()
> by something else, that would put the substring matched by the
>            P"(%" * pa * pb * P")"
> into the key "c" without dropping the named captures generated by pa
> and pb?

I myself tend to use named captures nested in table captures only for
very simple tasks. For anything more complex I prefer to use unamed
captures nested in function captures: The function then creates the
table with the proper fields.

-- Roberto