I've been working in my goathack on the userprop to add &nc=xx (where xx is the total number of comments for the entry) to the end of talkread URLs (so that those links become "unvisited" if new comments are added).
This user option will toggle whether or not &nx=xx is added at the end of each talkread URL the users comes across while he is logged in. It does not affect the user's journal, rather it affects the journals the user sees.
I'm pretty sure the patch is ready, though I've never made or submitted a patch before. I think opiummmmhelped me out enough with that though. I've tested the changes myself, and they seem to work. But I know bradfitz doesn't like to even look at patches without them being checked and tested first. This is where you guys come in.