You just blew my mind a little. Solid article.
37Signals have done some good writing around this idea, but specifically to web apps.
From 2003: http://37signals.com/svn/archives/000375.php
Basecamp Classic Blank Slates http://37signals.com/svn/posts/2322-design-decisions-new-basecamp-blank-slates
Blank Slates in Basecamp Next http://37signals.com/svn/posts/3210-backstage-designing-the-new-basecamp-blank-slates
It's refreshing to read good articles on this. Until I started designing web apps, it's not something I considered much. An after thought, sort of like a nifty 404 page. But really, this state creates the first impression for our users in many cases! Of course it should be well designed. Thanks for the additional resources.