Although i didnt post it in any forums, i had the same idea when the first connect the continents notice was sent out. In my opinion it is also the only viable option for connecting the continents.
When LL connected the continents before, they added at most, maybe 40 sims, and connected multiple continents with them. the bridges requested would take a few hundred sims at least. and LL is required to keep at lest a 1 sim empty space between a mainland sim and a private sim, unless the private sim owner wants to pay an additional US$500 per month to be connected to the mainland. so they would need to find a pathway that can actually be taken to keep the buffer. and even if they were open space sims, if i recall, those would cost about US$100 per month per sim for someone to own, and we are talking about a few hundred sims. the 80-90 sim bridge someone mentioned would be US$8000 to US$9000 every month to maintain, and thats for a single continent connection. toss in a few more connections and you are very easily exceeding the amount of money a well off middle class family earns per year, but as a monthly maintenance. yes LL is interested in increasing traffic for the mainland in hopes of people buying some land on it, but the cost of maintaining the bridges FAR exceeds any potential benefit they would provide. with the same number of regions they could make an entire new continent. so the portal idea is the only viable option, they could even add in a single sim on each end of the continents as the portal points, if they are to add any sims at all. and a fun thing to note that will support the portal option, aside from having the same benefits as the bridge in LL's eyes with none of the additional costs, is that LL has started looking into the sim connection code for the first time since linden world a couple months ago. meaning that the portals idea isnt out of the question. its just adding in an exception saying hey, t his sim border connects to this sim. and SL should by default see it as connected even if it isnt on the world map. it might not show properly on the minimap but i dont think it would have any real issues aside from the appearance on the map, but at most a small viewer update would fix the issue. i understand that people want the long cruising lanes of 90+ sims going in a straight line, but there is no cheap and low hassle way to implement the actual continent connections. if you manage to get LL to agree to making them, good for you, but IF LL does do anything, its probably best to accept that the continents can be connected seamlessly through portal sims, instead of trying to push for them to provide several hundred sims for free with almost no benefit to them.
the question then becomes, what is more important for the forums goal. connecting the continents as the name suggests, or asking for LL to give you 600 free sims because you want to have un-interrupted flying/sailing for an hour every so-often