Good call... I agree.
No the default should be what it is, Pass Through. Doesn't make any sense for it to be Normal because the vast majority of Photoshop users don't know that this affects Adjustment layers behavior, and would create more confusion than it would solve.
I highly doubt that the vast majority are unaware of the meaning of
these blend mode options.
And I would be willing to bet that those who ARE unaware of the affect
they have on adjustment layers within them, probably do not use layer
sets because of their lower experience level, and probably rarely IF
EVER use adjustment layers for the same reason. So let's design with
the pro user in mind... Elements can serve the consumer market. We
know why it makes more sense for layer sets to be set to a blend mode
of normal, perhaps it becomes a choice in prefs though to satisfy a
broader user base?
Can you give some common uses of normal-blended layer groups for those intermediate users looking to step up their game?
Sure, I'd be happy to. But let's take the topic to an appropriate forum. This one is for feature requests. Please post the question in the support forum of your choice, and then post here with a link to it so i can respond and so interested parties can follow the discussion.
Here's three reasons why changing the default behavior to "Normal" for Layer Groups is a really bad idea…
1. It would mean that by default any new Group created using existing Adjustment Layers, would suddenly render those Adjustment Layers partly, or completely inactive. Saying this again - any group of Adjustment Layers moved into a default Layer Group with no pixel layers included, would suddenly vanish in their effect. Most people would not know WHY this had happened. And would very quickly get the mistaken idea that you can't put Adjustment Layers into groups at all.
2. Existing Actions with steps like "Make Group" these have no parameters, would now behave differently.
3. Its not really logical that default behaviour should be that Adjustment Layers only affect the content of embedded Groups. Very useful to have it as an option, but certainly not a default.
Just because something happens to fit into your very private workfow better, doesn't mean it should be a default.
I'm not saying the default has to be normal. I'm saying give me an option to set the default to what works best for me! I would like the interface to be totally flexible.