Awesome article, thanks!
For the free sql server version limited to 10 GB, Alter becomes a problem. I've gotten into the routine of always copying a table to an empty database, dropping the original table, and then creating the new and pulling in the data from the holding database. I've got scripts which automate the whole process. This keeps me from getting aborts due to the 10 GB limit.
Actually I've always suspected "Alter" was smoke and mirrors due to the space usage and have avoided it from the start.