As you suggested the "Order by" testing with Jeffs solution, I also tested your marvellous solution for partitioned objects.
First findings .... It no longer works .... SQL2008 ( sp1 ) is getting smarter.
The more things we try to fool it, it just ignores them.
They must have a huge pile of fools, to anticipate all the foolish things we try 😀 (forcing a sets processing in a certain order.)
I'm still trying to figure out why ..... or why not.