I'd like to propose they be changed to:
Where 'e' stands for 'entry'. I was thinking j=journal&u=23434, but then then 'jay' looks like an 'eye' (what is the spelling of the letter i?) in certain fonts.
Of course, the old URLs will continue to work. I'm just getting sick of the huge URLs already.
Update: Okay, I hate my idea now also. So now I'm thinking what Evan suggested: use the ideal form and hack it with mod_rewrite for now.