You are wrong. Double clicking an icon on a desktop, yes, opens the file. Double clicking a file folder in an open dialog in column view didn't used to open every file in the folder. I know this because I do it all the time in Snow Leopard without issue. Perform the action I am describing before criticizing.
A primary tenant of user interface design is don't surprise the user. Also, "contents are not always dynamically refreshed" when stored on a non-Apple server, which is what we have at work.
If I wanted to open all the files in a folder (this one had over 50 files) I would click the folder once and command-A to select all the files. But I don't want to do that.
Apple designed it so a user can easily open all the files in a folder from within preview without the extra effort of highlighting them all yet you have the audacity to claim "i'm not doing it wrong, Apple designed it wrong" Jesus, man!
How about this, when you want to see the items in a folder you click it once instead of two times, but for this to work you have to remember that items in Finder windows will automatically show up as they appear so no need to "refresh" the contents.