Zaikesman-- This is pretty late, but I hit on this thinking about phase from another thread, and now I'm reading old phase threads instead of starting a new one.
Anyhow, I recently got into this discussion with a technical advisor at Jeff Rowland design group-- he sent me an article written 10 or so years ago by an audio journalist including a table of what labels in his experience inverted phase on their LPs. He found that there were some labels where most LPs were inverted, some where most were correct, and some where from track to track the phase changed. He mentioned that in some instances, the phase of certain instruments on a track could well not be in the same phase mode as others (drummer is 180 degrees out, the guitar player is correct, etc).
Since my attention was drawn to phase inversion because my Rowland preamp uses a different pin out on the XLRs than my new amps, thereby inverting phase, I've been playing with the phase button on my remote much more frequently, and have found that you are basically correct, with most recordings the difference between "in" and "out" of phase is inaudible. There are times, however, when there is a substantial difference. Unlike Plato, I neither fear, nor hear any deleterious effect of using my phase invert button. Thus far I've not found anything approximating a "golden rule" for CDs and phase-- different CDs from a given label don't seem to follow any pattern at all, it's all over the place--on most there is no improvement one way or another, but on the few where phase makes a difference, they appear to be split more or less 50/50.