One of the features of Fedora 17 is the /usr merge, put forward by Harald Hoyer and Kay Sievers. In the time since this feature has been proposed repetitive discussions took place all over the various Free Software communities, and usually the same questions were asked: what the reasons behind this feature were, and whether it makes sense to adopt the same scheme for distribution XYZ, too.
Especially in the Non-Fedora world it appears to be socially unacceptable to actually have a look at the Fedora feature page (where many of the questions are already brought up and answered) which is very unfortunate. To improve the situation I spent some time today to summarize the reasons for the /usr merge independently. I'd hence like to direct you to this new page I put up which tries to summarize the reasons for this, with an emphasis on the compatibility point of view:
Note that even though this page is in the systemd wiki, what it covers is mostly orthogonal to systemd. systemd supports both systems with a merged /usr and with a split /usr, and the /usr merge should be interesting for non-systemd distributions as well.
Primarily I put this together to have a nice place to point all those folks who continue to write me annoyed emails, even though I am actually not even working on all of this...
Enjoy the read!
 And not actually by me, I am just a supportive spectator and am not doing any work on it. Unfortunately some tech press folks created the false impression I was behind this. But credit where credit is due, this is all Harald's and Kay's work.