Interesting observations in your post. Seems like everyone had difficuly working in a tall tank. Other than that, I don't see any reason to debate the 28" vs. 24" issues. Is that correct?
My stand plus tank need to be at 54" (it has to align with with another piece of furniture in order to keep the mordern/contemporary lines of my living room... so I guess, either way, I will be standing on a foot stool. Infact, I was over at IKEA the other day and scoped out the perfect foot stool. It would fit right inside the tank stand next to the Eheim 2128 fileter, CO2 equipment, Aquatronica Aquarium controller and related powerstrip, large UPS, ballast from the Geisemann System 230 Plus Metal Halide setup and an old mini-desktop computer I will use to collect monitoring data.