Well, if you're using 1280 AND the smaller view in IE, you've either got good eyes, or many websites set their fonts to fixed sizes, or both!
This discussion group is mainly fixed font, for example - flicking between Meium - Smaller and even Smallest views have almost no effect. But then using Larger and Largest views have only a small effect too.
Fixed fonts are a bad thing for people with poor eyes. My CSS uses ems for font size, with allows the range of font sizes to be much greater - so that Largest view is GIANT SIZED
That said, I think I've over done the difference between the main body text, and the text in the side panels, and that needs tweaking to make the panel text larger. Then it probably would be viewable in the Smaller view.
Cheers for the comment