"The key difference [to Haskell] is the precedence & associativity thing (where wart is more like Smalltalk). Is this for simplicity/generality, or are there any technical reasons to avoid precedence rules?"
Hmm, I started out from the perspective in http://sourceforge.net/p/readable/wiki/Rationale that precedence violates homoiconicity. But if it happens in the reader and macros always see real s-expressions I suppose there isn't a technical issue.
My only other response: 9 levels of precedence?! Cut your tomfoolery! :)
I momentarily considered haskell's backticks, but there's a problem finding a reasonable character. And I wanted to not make the language more complex.