I have to say I think everything is fine just the way it is. Russ has good thinking in why he refuses to change to auto timeout. There's a lot of things I don't think you all are considering here. For one, vacation status isn't just for holiday. Say it is changed to the way you are proposing, and vacation status is only available for 30 days out of the year. I go on my 3 week vacation which consists of 23 days. Then I get the flu and I'm stuck in bed for 3 days. Then someone ups and quits at my work so I am working double time to cover shifts and the last thing I want to do when I get home is play my games. THEN some bozo rams my car and I'm in the hospital for a week. THEN I'm not working and money is tight so I can't afford internet access for a month. What I am trying to get at is there are a lot of reasons people are forced away from the site and putting a time limit on correspondence chess is unfair.
Now on the other hand, it's my opponent who is having this amazingly terrible year. I have the decision of taking the win while he's away. If it really urks me that he is going to complain about losing the game when he gets back, well I don't HAVE to take that win. I'll just take another game to compensate it. If I DO decide to take the win, well if he wants to complain, it's also my decision on whether it will bother me or not. He messages me a mean remark about my selfish actions while he was laid up in the hospital. You know what? I think I'll just delete that little bugger and forget about it. I see a thread entitled "timeout while I was on vacation" or something of the sorts and you know what? I ignore it. Let them have their little argument and get it over with.
Let me tell you how I deal with the whole thing. November last year, I couldn't afford internet access for a month. I came back and had tons of timeouts and my rating was terrible. I started playing games and built it back up. I claimed a timeout on an opponent in a tournament while he had his vacation flag up the other day. He came back and messaged me "thanks a lot!" I deleted the message and went about my business. I claim timeouts when I feel like it and deal with it when I get them claimed on me. Both sides you can choose to let it bother you, or you can choose to enjoy the game.
I personally think that arguing about changing the way it is done only adds more to the problem, it's not going to solve anything. Someone will find a problem with the system however it's done, not everybody is always going to be happy with it. So be it. I am going now to play some chess!